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Banana Boat recalled a sunscreen spray after detecting trace amounts of a carcinogen

The manufacturer of Banana Boat voluntarily recalled multiple batches of a hair and scalp sunscreen spray after an internal review found trace amounts of the cancer-causing chemical benzene.

The Connecticut-based Edgewell Personal Care Company said some samples of the Banana Boat Hair & Scalp Sunscreen Spray SPF 30 contained the chemical.

The company said benzene is not an ingredient in its sunscreen spray, but that unexpected levels of the chemical were found in the propellant that sprays the product from the can.

"Importantly, no other batches of Hair & Scalp (either before or after the impacted production batches) and no other Banana Boat products are in the scope of this recall and may continue to be used by consumers safely and as intended," an Edgewell spokesperson said in a statement to NPR.

"We are conducting this voluntary recall out of an abundance of caution," the spokesperson added.

The sunscreen sprays were packaged in aerosol cans and distributed across the U.S., both in-person and online.

The recalled products had expiration dates for December 2022, February 2023 and April 2024. The affected products can also be identified by a lot code number found on the bottom of the can. Those numbers are available on the Food and Drug Administration's site here.

Long-term exposure to benzene can affect the blood and bone marrow, leading to cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The company said benzene exposure can occur by inhalation, orally or through the skin.

Edgewell advised customers to stop using these products immediately and properly discard them. The company also said Banana Boat is offering to reimburse anyone who purchased these products.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.