Banana Boat recalls popular product after discovery of cancerous chemical

Banana Boat, a popular sunscreen brand, recently announced a voluntary recall on one of their sunscreen products after a cancerous chemical was discovered.

According to the announcement made on July 29, an internal review discovered trace levels of benzene in three batches of the brand’s Hair & Scalp sunscreen.

The recall follows several other large recalls from companies including Johnson & Johnson and Coppertone in 2021.

In October 2021, popular sunscreen brand Coppertone recalled five separate products due to the presence of benzene. Five Johnson & Johnson aerosol sunscreens were also recalled in July 2021 after traces of benzene were discovered.

“While benzene is not an ingredient in any Banana Boat products, the review showed that unexpected levels of benzene came from the propellant that sprays the product out of the can,” the company announcement read.

Banana Boat recalls spray sunscreen
Banana Boat issued a voluntary recall on three batches of their Hair & Scalp sunscreen after trace amounts of benzene were found. According to health officials, benzene is “carcinogenic to humans.” stefanamer/iStock

What Is Benzene?

Benzene is classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as “carcinogenic to humans.”

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization (WHO) classifies benzene as “carcinogenic to humans.”

Sufficient evidence also found links between benzene and leukemia, multiple myeloma, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the chemical is able to hinder healthy cell function, which can affect bone marrow, white blood cells, and the immune system.

Online Reactions

On Twitter, many customers tagged the official Banana Boat account to complain that they used the brand’s sunscreen all summer.

“So the thing that’s supposed to protect me from cancer is giving me cancer?” user @AlanMassenburg tweeted.

“Wonderful, I’ve just coated this on my skin all summer. I’m sure @bananaboat is more than willing to pay for cancer screenings and any medical/mental issues go along with the cancer risk,” user @jgreer3 tweeted. “Thankfully @FDA has our back…No, they are in @pfizer back pocket.”

“Don’t you love how it’s Announced AFTER summer is almost over. Almost seems deliberate,” user @fuzzylou77 tweeted. “For how many years has this been present? POS company, didn’t know?”

User @BCakaTheMan tweeted, “2nd year in a row this has happened with a popular sunscreen line and there’s nothing suspicious about this whatsoever.”

Newsweek reached out to Edgewell Personal Care and @jgreer3 for comment.

Other Recalls

Hundreds of products from Family Dollar were recalled in late July due to concerns about temperatures about where they were stored.

An FDA spokesperson told Newsweek that Family Dollar “failed to store these drug products in temperature-controlled areas of the distribution centers.”

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