FDA and Consumer Reports issue warning about dangers of spray sunscreens

by Jay Pate

The Food and Drug Administration is warning parents about the potential health risk of spray sunscreen. The ingredients in spray sunscreen can be harmful to children if accidentally breathed in by the child, according to the FDA. The federal agency announced in June that it was investigating the safety of spray sunscreens. For now, it has been recommended that you first spray the sunscreen on your hand and then lather it into your skin.

Consumer Reports pulls spray sunscreen off recommended list

Given the FDA’s announcement, Consumer Reports has advised people to stop using spray sunscreens on children until the FDA results are released and safety is confirmed. Consumers Reports has also removed one sunscreen spray — Ocean Potion Kids Instant Dry Mist SPF 50 — from its list of recommended sunscreens. According to Consumer Reports, that particular spay product is marketed especially for use by children.

Accidentally inhaling spray sunscreen

The primary health concern regarding spray on sunscreens is the risk people might accidentally breathe in the aerosol ingredients. Inhaling the ingredients is especially risky for kids, who are likely to squirm and move during the application process.

According to Consumer Reports, some sprays even contain titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which may contain tiny nanoparticles. Inhaling those or any other spray could cause lung irritation—or worse. Consumer Reports has noted that breathing in titanium dioxide may be a cancer risk. The European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety has already recommended against using sprays with titanium dioxide nanoparticles.

Spray Sunscreens are flammable

More than 20 sprays were recalled last year because of reports of burn injuries involving people who got too close to an open flame while the spray was still wet. The FDA has acknowledged several incidents in which people wearing sunscreen spray near sources of flame suffered significant burns that required medical treatment.

Many sunscreen spray products contain flammable ingredients, commonly alcohol. Of course, you should never apply a product labeled as flammable while you are near a source of flame. However, the FDA has acknowledged that burns have occurred after the sunscreen spray had been applied. The ignition sources were varied: lighting a cigarette, standing near a candle, approaching a BBQ grill. According to the FDA, the incidents suggest a possibility of catching fire if you are near an open flame or a spark after spraying on a flammable sunscreen—even if you believe you have waited a sufficient time for the sunscreen to dry and your skin feels dry.

Defective products: protect your rights

To successfully bring a claim involving a defective product, clients need an experienced, educated attorney on their side. They also need an attorney with the financial resources to take the case to trial. At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we have tried hundreds of cases to verdict and have settled hundreds more. In 2010 alone, we negotiated settlements of personal injury and wrongful death claims totaling more than $50 million.

Heygood, Orr & Pearson also has the financial resources to handle personal injury cases from start to finish. In fact, there are many instances in which we invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in a case in order to take it to trial. At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we are committed to achieving justice for our clients, whatever the cost.

Our firm is AV-rated, the highest legal and ethical rating available from the leading law firm rating service. Our partners Michael Heygood, Jim Orr, and Eric Pearson are all Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Mr. Heygood and Mr. Orr are additionally Board Certified in Civil Trial Advocacy Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Our partners been voted by their peers as “Super Lawyers” in the state of Texas for several years in a row.*

Get Help for Your Child from an Experienced Attorney

When products for children are not manufactured to meet the highest safety standards or are not used properly, serious injuries or death may result. Despite the efforts of federal regulators to protect young children and infants from dangerous products, thousands are hospitalized each year because of dangerous consumer goods.

If your child has been injured by a toy or other children’s product, you and your family are entitled ensure that the legal rights of your child are protected. The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have the knowledge, experience, and legal expertise to pursue personal injury or product liability claims against any company whose products may have caused serious injury or death to a child.

Our law firm is proud of the work we have done on behalf children who have been hurt as a result of the negligence of others, including multi-million dollar verdicts in cases involving a child hurt in a bus crash, medical errors that resulted in permanent brain damage to an 8-year-old, and a case involving a newborn who suffered brain damage after being improperly discharged from the hospital.

To find out more about how we can help with your child’s case, please call us toll-free at 1-877-446-9001 for a free legal consultation from our attorneys. You can also receive a free case evaluation by following the link to our free contact form on this website.


* Michael Heygood, James Craig Orr, Jr. and Eric Pearson were selected to the Super Lawyers List, a Thomson Reuters publication, for the years 2003 through 2014.