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Sunscreen Catches Fire on Man’s Skin

June 11, 2012
Colson Hicks Eidson

A man in Massachusetts was doing something that Floridians do every day and it almost cost him his life. Last week, he was applying Banana Boat brand aerosol spray sunscreen to his skin. After applying, he walked toward his backyard grill and the parts of his body with the sunscreen caught fire. Luckily, the victim survived but suffered second-degree burns to his chest, ear and back.

An official with the Burn Prevention Network said that the sunscreen did not completely absorb into the victim’s skin. Droplets and vapor from the aerosol spray sunscreen were likely still in the air when he approached the grill. The charcoal from the grill ignited the vapor trail to his skin, said the official. The warning on the sunscreen says not to apply near heat or flames, but it does not mention any hazards after application to the skin.

The victim commented that if people knew the sunscreen was still flammable for up to two minutes after application, they would not use it. For its part, Banana Boat officials said they are not aware of similar incidents, but they will begin an investigation into the incident.

This incident illustrates the danger present in some everyday items in our household. Manufacturers sometimes do not even know how harmful their products can be. Contact one of our experienced product liability lawyers if you or someone you know suffers an injury from a consumer item.