Man Catches Fire After Applying Spray-On Sunscreen

By Admin on June 06, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Here's a warning for sun-worshippers: Spray-on sunscreen can catch fire if you stand too close to a grill, as one Massachusetts man learned the hard way.

"I've never experienced pain like that in my life," Brett Sigworth of Stow, Mass., told ABC News.

Sigworth said he applied spray-on sunscreen to his chest, back, and ears. When he walked over to his grill, the areas where he'd sprayed the sunscreen instantly caught fire. Sigworth suffered second-degree burns.

As with many spray-on sunscreen products, the Banana Boat sunscreen that Sigworth allegedly used comes with a printed warning. "Flammable, don't use near heat, flame or while burning," the warning states.

But after spray-on sunscreen is applied, droplets from the aerosol spray may still linger in the air for a few minutes, a burn-prevention expert told ABC News.

"As he approached the flame, the charcoal simply caught the vapor trail and it follows the vapor trail to where the bulk of the substance is, which is on his body," the expert said.

In a statement, Banana Boat promised to investigate. "We are unaware of any prior incidents similar to what Brett has described, but ... we are taking this matter very seriously," the company's statement said.

Brett Sigworth doesn't plan to sue, but suggested a possible defect in warnings about the risks of spray-on sunscreen: There are currently no printed warnings that the sunscreen can catch fire for a period of time after it's applied, he told CBS News. "I think if people were told this is flammable for two minutes on your skin afterward, people wouldn't use it," he said.

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