Massachusetts Man Catches Fire After Applying Sunscreen

A man said he suffered burns from a grill after applying sunscreen on his body.

June 05, 2012, 12:54 AM

June 5, 2012— -- A Massachusetts man said he suffered second-degree burns from a grill after applying sunscreen aerosol spray on parts of his body.

Brett Sigworth said he applied Banana Boat sunscreen to his body before walking over to his grill, not knowing it would still be flammable after it was on his skin.

"I went into complete panic mode and screamed," Sigworth said. "I've never experienced pain like that in my life."

The result was second-degree burns to his chest, ear and back, the only areas where he applied the sunscreen. Ten days after the incident, Sigworth is still showing the effects of the incident.

The warnings on the bottle of Banana Boat sunscreen read, "Flammable, don't use near heat, flame or while burning." But nothing about once it's applied.

Banana Boat officials said in a statement they were sorry to hear about Sigworth's experience and would begin a prompt investigation. "We are unaware of any prior incidents similar to what Brett has described, but because nothing is more important to us than the safety of our consumers, we are taking this matter very seriously," the statement said.

Dan Dillard, CEO of the Burn Prevention Network, believes the sunscreen might not have fully absorbed into Sigworth's skin and the droplets from the aerosol spray might have still been in the air.

"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," said Dillard.

"I think if people were told this is flammable for two minutes on your skin, people wouldn't use it," Sigworth said.

He doesn't plan to sue, but it sharing his story and photos with others to make sure no one else ends up in the hospital after applying sunscreen.

"It was so scary," he said, "and I just wouldn't want to see it happen to anybody else."

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