Banana Boat Recalls Sunscreen After Some Users Catch on Fire

Banana boat sunscreenBy MATTHEW PERRONE

WASHINGTON (AP) - The maker of Banana Boat sunscreen is recalling some of its spray-on products after reports that a handful of people have caught on fire after applying the lotion and coming in contact with an open flame.

Energizer Holdings (ENR) said Fridaythat it is pulling 23 varieties of UltraMist sunscreen off store shelves due to the risk of the lotion igniting when exposed to fire.

The recall includes aerosol products like UltraMist Sport, UltraMist Ultra Defense and UltraMist Kids.

A company spokesman said there have been five reports of people suffering burns after using the sunscreen in the last year. Four burn cases were reported in the U.S. and one in Canada.

More than 20 million units have been sold since UltraMist launched in 2010, the spokesman said.

Energizer said in a statement that the problem appears to be caused by UltraMist's spray valve, which is over applying the product. As a result the lotion is taking longer to dry, which raises the flammability risk.

"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 warns users: "Do not use in the presence of a flame or spark. Keep away from sources of ignition - no smoking."

But dermatologists say most people don't read such 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," said Dr. Michele Green, a dermatologist at New York's Lenox Hill Hospital.

Green said aerosol sunscreens have become popular in recent years because they're faster and easier to apply, but not necessarily more effective.

"I think the old-fashioned creams apply better and seem to protect you better - the sprays just don't seem to work as well," Green said.

The company said it has notified the Food and Drug Administration about the voluntary recall.

Consumers who purchased the products are being told not to use them. More information is available from the manufacturer at 1-800-SAFESUN.

Burn experts said Friday the problem appears to be extremely rare.

"We've found no evidence of this happening before the incidents that came to our attention," said Dan Dillard, executive director of the Burn Prevention Network. Dillard's group was contacted earlier in the year about two burns related to UltraMist. One case involved a man who was standing near a barbecue grill, the other case involved a woman working with welding equipment. Both cases resulted in second and third degree burns.

Dillard pointed out that the ingredients used in aerosol sprays are known to be flammable.

"The alcohol and petroleum products listed on the containers are flammable, so the only thing you're missing in the heat triangle is an ignition source," Dillard said.


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October 22 2012 at 2:59 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply


October 22 2012 at 2:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

A lot of arisols and other things catch fire if exposed to an open flame. Right Guard deodorant and vegetable oil sprays for your grill are two. I'm surprised this is even a recall issue. Most things have disclaimers on them.

October 22 2012 at 2:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

After you catch fire, jump into the ocean or water for a quick burn.

October 22 2012 at 2:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't believe in sunscreen. It is one of the biggest frauds perpetrated on us. You NEED sunlight on your skin. You need that natural vitamin D. So many children are going to end up with skin cancer because of sunscreen. Do your research, stop buying into the garbage.

October 22 2012 at 1:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

LOL... I love it! This seems to only be a problem if you have a lit cigarette dangling from your mouth or next to someone else who does! might have enough sense to protect your skin against skin cancer but not enough to prevent lung disease. What a trade-off!

October 22 2012 at 10:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I used to work for a food manufacturer and we never threw old product away. We gave it to a food bank when it went over the "sell by" date, which meant it was still good but really if not consumed right away might go bad. They always errored on the side of caution. So with that thinking in mind, perhaps it could be donated to Tibetan temples for use by self immolating monks or something like that!

October 22 2012 at 10:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mike shaffer

Now thats what u would call hot chicks...

October 22 2012 at 10:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mike shaffer's comment


October 22 2012 at 10:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hate it when I catch fire.

October 22 2012 at 8:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

has anyone noticed that the more government regulations we have, the less safe we are?
how about less government?

October 20 2012 at 8:02 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply