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Banana Boat Recalls Hair and Scalp Sunscreen Over Low Levels of Carcinogen


The parent company of Banana Boat recalled batches of a sunscreen spray because they contained trace levels of benzene, a carcinogen, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said. Consumers were urged to stop using the products.

Edgewell Personal Care, which owns Banana Boat, issued the voluntary nationwide recall on Friday for products in three batches of SPF 30 hair and scalp sunscreen that were found to contain the carcinogen, in line with the F.D.A.

“Consumers should stop using the affected product immediately and appropriately discard,” officials said.

The lot codes — found on the underside of the cans — of the three recalled batches are 20016AF, 20084BF and 21139AF, with expiration dates in December 2022, February 2023 and April 2024. All spray cans recalled are 6 ounces.

“No other Banana Boat products are within the scope of this recall and should proceed to be utilized by consumers safely and as intended,” the F.D.A. said.

Benzene is just not an ingredient in any Banana Boat product, nevertheless it is an element of the propellant that sprays the sunscreen out of the can, the F.D.A. said. Retailers were told to remove the products from shelves. The sunscreen had been sold online and in stores.

“Exposure to benzene can occur by inhalation, orally and thru the skin,” the administration said, “and it potentially can lead to cancers including leukemia and blood cancer of the bone marrow and blood disorders, which will be life-threatening.”

Low levels of benzene will be present in products comparable to plastics and detergents, in addition to at gas stations and within the air through tobacco smoke, motorized vehicle exhaust and industrial emissions, in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Benzene causes cells to work incorrectly and might damage the immune system.

“The seriousness of poisoning brought on by benzene is dependent upon the quantity, route and length of time of exposure,” the C.D.C. said, “in addition to the age and pre-existing medical condition of the exposed person.”

Persons are exposed to trace levels of benzene of their environment. No antagonistic effects related to the Banana Boat sunscreens have been reported, but consumers should contact their health care providers in the event that they experience problems, in line with the F.D.A.

“We all know that you simply love our products, and we’re conducting this recall out of an abundance of caution,” Banana Boat said on its website.

Similar benzene-related recalls have occurred up to now. Johnson & Johnson issued a recall for some Neutrogena and Aveeno sunscreen sprays last yr after testing found low levels of benzene.

Banana Boat will offer reimbursement for buyers of those products. For more information, consumers can visit the Banana Boat website or call 1-888-686-3988.

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