People wearing Banana Boat sunscreen catch on fire

This past year, five different cases of people setting on fire as a result of applying Banana Boat spray-on lotion were reported, resulting in the recall of half a million bottles.

The reports came from the U.S. and Canada, in which people reported that they caught on fire after applying the lotion and coming into close contact with an open flame. The risk seems to be with the aerosol bottles, as 23 different types of the spray-on UltraMist sunscreen will be pulled off shelves due to the risk of the lotion igniting when in contact with an open flame.

The problem arose from a malfunction of the UltraMist spray valve, which has been releasing more product than should be. Therefore, it takes longer to dry and is more likely to catch on fire. The bottle contains a warning that reads, “Keep away from sources of ignition — no smoking.” Unless the product has completely dried, being near a flame means you will go up in flames yourself as explained  here.

These cases are very rare. Aerosol cans of spray-on lotion have been around for years and it was  just this year the five cases were reported. The attention to the phenomenon may be due to the recent surge in purchases of spray-on sunscreen, as compared to the traditional lotion.

Critics of this recall are saying that simple common sense should solve the problem. There is a clear warning on the bottle and even though the product is taking longer to dry, users should know not to come  into close contact with fire unless the product is completely dry. Put into simple terms: do not apply wet spray-on lotion and then stand near fire.

Banana Boat will be further investigating the matter, as the sunscreen does not contain any especially flammable ingredients. Many of its components are also used in products that are in aerosol cans, so it is not expected that these problems would be exclusive to Banana Boat spray-on products.

As half a million UltraMist products are being removed from shelves, Banana Boat released a statement warning those who already purchased the spray-on bottles to not use them. It seems the threat of getting burned is from the sunscreen this time, not the sun.

 

 

School, major and year: A&S, Economics, 2015
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