Banana Boat sunscreen recalled over carcinogen

Aaron Gregg
Washington Post

The maker of Banana Boat recalled three batches of its SPF 30 spray-on sunscreen after an internal review found trace levels of benzene in the products.

The Food and Drug Administration announced that an unexpected level of the carcinogen was detected in the propellant that sprays the sunscreen out of the can, even though it is not an ingredient in the sunscreen itself.

Banana Boat recalled three batches of its SPF 30 spray-on sunscreen after an internal review found trace levels of benzene

The recall covers Banana Boat spray-on sunscreen cans with product code 0-79656-04041-8 and one of the following three lot codes: 20016AF, 20084BF or 21139AF.

Benzene is classified as a human carcinogen that can be ingested through inhalation, the skin or orally. Long-term and repeated exposure to the chemical at high enough levels can cause leukemia or other cancers, according to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the short-term, those exposed may experience dizziness, an irregular heartbeat or other symptoms.

The FDA said the sunscreen manufacturer, Edgewell Personal Care, has not seen any "adverse events" related to the recall, and noted that even daily exposure to the amount of benzene discovered in the recalled products would not be expected to cause any adverse health outcomes.

"Benzene is ubiquitous in the environment," the FDA wrote in an unsigned release. "Humans around the world have daily exposures to it indoors and outdoors from multiple sources." It's also found in gasoline, rubber, waxes and a range of other products.

The company is offering a full reimbursement for anyone who purchased the recalled products.