Banana Boat spray-on sunscreen causes skin to catch fire

Although the season for backyard barbeques and sunscreen has come to an end in the Great Northwest, you may want to consider throwing out any Banana Boat spray-on sunscreen products left over from the season.

The maker of Banana Boat sunscreen recalled 23 spray-on products saying there was a risk they could catch fire on one’s skin, after reports of five people being burned in the US and Canada. Energizer Holdings said it was recalling its popular continuous spray sunscreen “due to a potential risk of product igniting on the skin if contact is made with a source of ignition before the product is completely dry.”

It cited a likely problem with the size of the spray valve opening that allows more of the volatile product to be sprayed on the skin than usual. As a result, the product is taking longer to dry on the skin than is typical with other continuous sprays. 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 four incidents reported in the United States and one in Canada involved the use of the company’s Banana Boat UltraMist Sport SPF 30 and 50 products.

One of the victims, a Massachusetts man, said he was tending to the outdoor grill at his lakeside home in Stow, Mass., when he suddenly found himself ablaze. Moments before, he used Banana Boat’s Sport Performance spray-on sunscreen. “I sprayed on the spray-on sunscreen and then rubbed it on for a few seconds,” the man said. “I walked over to my grill, took one of the holders to move some of the charcoal briquettes around and all of a sudden it went up my arm.” The fire, he said, spread to wherever he used the sunscreen – on his chest, ear and back causing second degree burns.