FDA Investigators are Unsure of Spray-On Sunscreen’s Safety
Spray-on sunscreen is hugely popular with parents and kids, because they are easy and quick to apply. However, health officials are unsure if the sunscreens are completely safe, especially for young children.
In 2011, the FDA announced that they would investigate the safety and effectiveness of spray-on sunscreens. Despite the announcement, the FDA has yet to report the results of their spray-on sunscreen investigation and whether there is spray-on sunscreen danger.
However, watchdog group Consumer Reports announced on their website that they do not believe spray-on sunscreens are safe because the chemicals can be inhaled. Sunscreens are known to have titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, two chemicals known to cause developmental problems in animals. Spray-on sunscreens could have nanoparticles of those chemicals, and if they are inhaled by young children, they could cause severe health issues later in life. With any breeze, the spray-on sunscreen affects not only the person using the product, but possibly bystanders as well.
“Anything you put in the body has the potential for side effects,” says pediatrician Dr. Jeffery Simon. “The question there is what’s bad about it? Is it chemicals directly, or is it the fact that the chemicals irritate the lungs, the spray, can it trigger asthma attacks?”
Consumer Reports added that another problem with spray-on sunscreens might be the actual quantity used. The thin layer of applied spray-on sunscreen might not be enough to protect against harmful UV radiation; lotion-based sunscreens, however, can be applied in proper layers because the applicant can feel how much is going onto the skin.
Spray-on sunscreens have been the cause of personal injury before. Last summer, the FDA issued a product recall for some spray-on sunscreens because they are flammable. One consumer reported that he sprayed himself with the spray-on sunscreen, then immediately went to the grill – and he caught fire because of the sunscreen particles still floating around his body.
Another woman in Norfolk, VA, reportedly used the spray-on sunscreen, waited several minutes for it to set, then went to use her welding torch. “My whole arm went on fire,” she told reporters.
“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,” says Narayan Nair, M.D., a lead medical officer at FDA.
Until the FDA finishes its investigation of spray-on sunscreens, Consumer Reports recommends that parents avoid using spray-on sunscreens on young children and babies, and instead use lotion-based sunscreens unless nothing else is available. If spray-on sunscreen is the only available option, then parents should spray the product onto their hands and then manually apply it to children, to prevent their children from inhaling too many of the potentially harmful chemicals found in the products. Consumer Reports also recommends that if adults use spray-on sunscreens, they do not spray directly into their faces, and instead use the same manual procedure recommended for application on children.
“Never spray sunscreen around or near the face or mouth. Spraying adequate amounts of the sunscreen into your hands and then applying the sunscreen can help avoid the fumes while also ensuring adequate coverage. When applying spray sunscreens on children, be aware of the direction of the wind to avoid inhalation,” stated the American Academy of Dermatology.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Cases Involving Spray-On Sunscreen
Defective products make it to the market for a variety of reasons, and it is important that consumers are aware that they have recourse against manufacturers. Often, these defective products are inadequately tested, or are misrepresented by marketers. Defective products can have manufacturing or design flaws or defects, and if they are improperly tested then these problems will go unnoticed until consumers begin to complain.
If you or a loved one have used spray-on sunscreen which then ignited without warning, or caused lung injuries due to inhalation, you may have a personal injury case. Too many consumers were harmed by spray-on sunscreens before a product recall was issued. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case. Do not hesitate to contact us regarding personal injury cases. 803.252.4800