Energizer Holdings has had to expand its initial recall of Banana Boat sunscreens in Canada as the products are also said to potentially run the risk of catching fire if contact is made with open flames before they are completely dried into the skin.
The initial call the manufacturer made back in October for certain products of the well-known brand to be pulled from the shelves has been extended to include Banana Boat Sport Performance SPF 30 Spray Sunscreen (180mL) and Banana Boat Ultra Defense SPF 30 Spray Sunscreen (180mL).
A fifth product which was previously sold in Canada has also been pinpointed - Banana Boat Sunscreen Oil Spray SPF 1.
According to Energizer, the issue lies with the spray valve on the products, said to be larger than the average spray bottle, which is over applying the sunscreen and as a result is taking longer to dry, raising 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," a company spokesperson explained.
The manufacturer notified the FDA and issued a voluntary recall of nearly half a million sun care products after five reports of people catching fire after use back in October. Then it had pulling 23 different varieties of UltraMist sunscreen off store shelves.
Aerosol sunscreens have become popular in recent years because they are faster and easier to apply than traditional creams and in the last year alone, there have been four reports in the US and one in Canada of people suffering burns after using the UltraMist products.
Health Canada has stated it will continue to monitor the company’s recall, and has sent a letter to retailers asking them to stop selling the products.
Could labeling be part of problem?
Up until the recall, labels on UltraMist products warned users to “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,” says Dr. Michele Green, a dermatologist at New York’s Lenox Hill Hospital.
On the other hand Dr. Darrel Rigel, a past president of the American Academy of Dermatology points out that the flammable ingredients in aerosols are common in many products and that “you just have to use common sense and not be near an open fire when you put on aerosol anything.”