Energizer, the maker of Banana Boat, has issued a recall on over half a million bottles of its Ultra Mist Sunscreen which includes Ultra Mist Sport, Ultra Mist Defense, and Ultra Mist Kids. Five people in the past year have caught on fire (4 in the U.S. and 1 in Canada) after applying the spray on sunscreen. Its been found that the problem lies in a defective valve and not the actual sunscreen. The over application of sunscreen causes it to not dry fast enough and is a potential safety hazard to users of the spray on sunscreen. Over 20 million defective sunscreens have been sold.
One man, Brett Sigworth, from Massachusetts was a victim of 2nd and 3rd degree burns after he applied Banana Boat’s spray on sunscreen at a backyard barbecue. Brett recalled that he went to the grill immediately after re-applying his sunscreen to move some charcoal around and then he burst into flames. Another woman suffered burn injuries while working with welding equipment.
Sunscreen isn’t usually flammable, but when it’s “sprayed from a can it can become flammable”, explains Anahad O’Connor in the New York Times. Turning something into an aerosol requires a flammable ingredient, such as alcohol. In Brett’s case, he was most likely surrounded by alcohol vapors, which is scary to think about on its own. There are warning labels that state for users to “keep away from sources of ignition–no smoking.” These warnings might go un-read, especially for the type of person who chooses spray on sunscreens. Spray on sunscreens have become more popular and are viewed as time-saving and easier to apply than topical creams. One reason why it’s important to read all labels and warnings on anything you buy!
The fire risk of sunscreen hasn’t been a problem before now and hopefully it can be easily fixed. In the mean time this is a good chance to remember some beneficial tips on how to choose the right sunscreen for you and some other sun protection options.
- SPF above 50+
Look for these:
- Broad spectrum
- Water resistant
- SPF 30+
These tips are from the Environmental Working Groups Sunscreen guide. If you aren’t sure how your sunscreen measures up then take a moment to search it in their database. To avoid chemicals and the pressure of re-applying sunscreen every couple of hours, think about the choices you have with UV protective clothing. Hats, shirts and other clothing with a built-in UV barrier can protect you from 98% of the sun’s harmful rays. UV protective shirts easily remedy the squirmy child or protect the family on a sun-filled day trip.
Shop our UV protective styles and leave a comment to let us know what is your favorite UV Skinz product!