Banana Boat Recalls Sunscreen Over Fire Risk

Banana Boat sunscreens have been recalled over fire risks. In fact, the makers of Banana Boat are recalling a massive half-million bottles of its spray-on lotion.

Consumers have reported that they caught on fire after applying the Banana Boat lotion and coming into contact with open flames, said The Associated Press (AP). In response, Energizer Holdings Inc., maker of Banana Boat sunscreen, told the AP it is recalling 23 varieties of its UltraMist sunscreen over fire risks.

Banana Boat UltraMist products includes: UltraMist Sport, UltraMist Ultra Defense and UltraMist Kids, said the AP.

According to a spokesman for Energizer Holdings, five reports have been received over consumers suffering burns in the past year. Four of the cases were reported in the United States and one case was reported in Canada, said the AP. The five incidents involved Banana Boat UltraMist Sport SPF 30 and 50 products, said The Daily News.

Dan Dillard, executive director of the Burn Prevention Network, said the Network was contacted in early 2012 regarding two burns associated with spray-on sunscreen. The AP reported that one case involved a man standing near a barbeque grill and, another case involved a woman who working with welding equipment. The cases involved second- and third-degree burns.

In the case of the man, said CBSNews, he suffered second-degree burns on his chest, ear, and back after applying Banana Boat Sport Performance spray-on sunscreen and before barbecuing. At the time, a Los Angeles County fire official said that his department received calls about people catching fire after applying sunscreen.

Since its launch in 2010, 20 million Ultramist bottles have been sold, according to the Energizer Holdings’ spokesman.

The problem is likely due to the spray valve used on the UltraMist products’ containers, which over applies the sunscreen, said Energizer in a statement. Because of this, the lotion takes longer to dry, increasing its flammability risks, said the AP. “If a consumer comes into contact with a flame or spark prior to complete drying of the product on the skin, there is a potential for the product to ignite,” the company said.

UltraMist’s label indicates to “Keep away from sources of ignition—no smoking”; however, said the AP, dermatologists say consumers do not typically read these labels. “So many people put this on outside, while they’re on their way to activities, so I just don’t think people are aware of that,” Dr. Michele Green, a dermatologist at New York’s Lenox Hill Hospital, told the AP. Dr. Green noted that aerosol sunscreen popularity has risen due to ease of application.

“I’ve been doing this for 30 years and I’ve never seen or heard of this happening before,” Dr. Darrel Rigel, professor of dermatology at New York University, told the AP. Dr. Rigel noted that flammable ingredients in aerosol products include alcohol, which is also common in hairspray and spray-on deodorants. “I think you just have to use common sense and not be near an open fire when you put on aerosol anything,” said Rigel, a past president of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Consumers in possession of the recalled Banana Boat UltraMist products are being advised not to use them and that they may contact the manufacturer, toll-free, at 1.800. SAFESUN.

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