FDA Issues Flammable Sunscreen Warning

In late 2012, Energizer Holdings Inc., parent company of Sun Pharmaceuticals Corp., announced a voluntary recall of several Banana Boat-brand sun care products deemed a “potential safety concern” by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after a series of burn incidents involving consumers. The spray-on sunscreens, which could ignite on the skin upon contact with a spark or open flame, were removed from market without issue, and no further incidents were reported.

But now, the FDA has reissued its warning—for more than just the recalled products.

According to a release on the organization’s Consumer Updates page, any product containing flammable ingredients could pose an injury risk if the wearer comes in contact with flames or other heat sources. This includes spray sunscreen products, hairspray, insect repellant and some non-spray sunscreens. And while many of these products already have warning labels advising against application near an open flame, the FDA report warns that the products could pose a fire risk even if users wait a “sufficient time for the sunscreen to dry.”

“Based on this information, we recommend that after you have applied a sunscreen spray labeled as flammable, you consider avoiding being near an open flame, sparks or an ignition source,” FDA lead medical officer Narayan Nair, M.D., said in the report.

The warning is another in a growing list of potential difficulties for distributors and suppliers selling sun care products. In 2011, new FDA regulations resulted in stricter labeling requirements for sunscreen and other personal care items. And sunscreen, considered an over-the-counter drug by the FDA, has long been banned in most—but not all—U.S. schools.

No additional recalls have yet been recommended, but the FDA report serves as a reminder that distributors should pay close attention to rules and regulations involving personal care items.


-Promo Marketing – by Sean Norris


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