All summer long, it feels like no matter what store you walk into, you can't help but be inundated by shelves and shelves of all different types of sun protection products. Last summer, I spent 20 minutes or more scouring the shelves at a drugstore and even my fave natural grocery store, looking for a sunscreen that was free of oxybenzone, the toxin linked to allergies, hormone disruption, cell damage -- even low birth weight in baby girls whose mothers are exposed during pregnancy. It felt impossible to steer completely clear of the ingredient, one of its sneaky cousins, or retinyl palmitate, which has been linked to the development of skin tumors and lesions. Fantastic, right? Now, to add insult to injury, sunscreen is literally burning people.
No, really, it's true. A Massachusetts man named Brett Sigworth has been making headlines for his terrifying experience with Banana Boat sport aerosol sunscreen.
Sigworth applied the spray, went over to his grill, took one of the holders to move some of the charcoal briquettes around, and in less than a second, he was on fire! The flames trailed the exact path of where he had applied the sunscreen. What the ... ?!! The poor guy has second degree burns on his chest, ear, and back. Photos from the hospital burn unit show the burns appear in precise lines -- where he sprayed the sunscreen.
Sure, sunscreen is flammable, and there are warnings on the products that read "don't use near heat, flame, or while burning," but who would have thought the product would continue to be a fire magnet once it's applied to the skin?! Sigworth said:
I think if people were told this is flammable for two minutes on your skin afterward, people wouldn't use it.
Yeah, I'd say catching on fire being pretty much the last desired effect you'd want from your sunscreen. Geesh! Even though Banana Boat issued a statement saying they were sorry to hear about Sigworth's experience and would begin a prompt investigation, I can't believe Sigworth isn't pressing charges. He says he just wants people to hear what happened to him, so they're aware of the potential issue. "I had no idea and it was so scary and I just wouldn’t want to see it happen to anyone else," he told local CBS news.
Hopefully his message gets out. After all, getting cancer and getting burned are the two things we're trying to avoid by using sunscreen! So, to me, this horrifying story is only further proof that most commercial sun protection products are more trouble than they're worth.
Can you believe this? Do you use regular sunscreen?