Health Canada has recalled Banana Boat sunscreens from the market as some people have caught on fire as a result of using them. This news is truly horrible. The company that manufactures the brand claims the nozzle allows too much spray which takes longer than it should to dry on the skin. Bottom line if you go near an open flame with the undried Banana Boat on your skin, you could go up in flames. Sadly, this happened to a few unfortunate people in the US and in Canada.
If you are counting yourself lucky because you were not one of the unfortunate few who suffered, think again if you use Banana Boat. Take a quick look at all Banana Boat skus on the Skin Deep database to find out not only do their sunscreens contain flammable isobutane (used as a propellant in this case), but there are a host of potential health-affecting issues regarding these the products. So basically all who use these products lose.
Most Banana Boat skus contain ozybenzone which is linked to endocrine disruption and reproductive toxicity. Other chems you get in these products like it or not, are PEG chemicals, BHT, Methylchloroisoisothiazolinone, Retinyl Acetate and fragrance of undeclared origin. All of which you will find on numerous toxic chemical lists in Canada and in the US.
Best thing we can learn from this recall is to assess our own personal threshold for accepting risk. Do the risks outweigh any benefit of use?
A case in point from my own experience. A few years ago there was a recall of cold cuts from a Canadian meat processing plant. At the time, I was buying cold cuts as my kids like them and they are EASY. We probably all slip into the ‘its easy but I know its not good for me’ conundrum. I am guilty for sure. After the recall, I figured that cold cuts are not really good for us anyway so why assume all the risk associated with their use? They contain excess sodium and nitrates in most cases. Along with the potential for the risk of food-bourne illness, who needs it? I think the same about the Banana Boat sunscreens, There is much too much risk involved in using them. Toxic AND they’re flammable. They even have toxins and flammable isobutane in their sunscreen for babies.
Just know there are always alternatives. For natural sunscreen newbies, look for natural claims on labels and then back it up by confirming that the sun block comes from zinc or titanium dioxide not toxic sunscreen chemicals such as oxybenzone. There are lots of good alternatives, you just have to look. If ever in doubt, check the Skin Deep database and become an avid label reader. It’s the only way to go as nobody else is going to be the guardian angel of your family’s health.