Banana Boat sunscreen recalled over fire risk

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WASHINGTON The maker of Banana Boat sunscreen is recalling one of its spray-on products after reports that a handful of people have caught on fire after applying the lotion.

Energizer Holdings (ENR) is pulling nearly two dozen formulations of UltraMist off store shelves due to the risk that the lotion can ignite when exposed to open flame. 

A company spokesman said there have been five reports of people catching on fire after applying the sunscreen in the last year. Four cases were reported in the U.S. and one in Canada. More than 20 million units have been sold since UltraMist launched in 2010.

Energizer is advising consumers not to use 23 products in its "continuous spray Banana Boat sun care" line. It is also asking retailers to stop selling the products.

"Energizer believes that this issue is associated with the product delivery system, specifically the size of the spray valve opening on the affected products," the company said in a statement. "The spray valve opening on the affected products dispenses more than is typical in the industry for continuous sun care sprays. 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."

In June, one Stow, Mass., resident reported suffering second-degree burns on his chest, ear and back after applying Banana Boat Sport Performance spray-on sunscreen before barbecuing.

In connection with the incident, a Los Angeles County fire official said at the time that his department has received calls related to people catching fire after applying sunscreen.

Energizer says the problem appears to be with the spray valve, which is over-applying the product. As a result, the lotion is taking longer to dry, which raises its flammability risk.

Consumers with questions or complaints regarding the recall can contact Energizer at 1-800-723-3786 or by email at suncare@customerfollowup.info.