FDA warns against dangers of spray-on sunscreen

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Sunscreen is in most everyone’s pool bag these days.

But the Food and Drug Administration has raised a question about the safety of spray-on sunscreens.

Spray-on sunscreen is sold across the nation.

It’s meant to block the potentially harmful effects of the sun–but it’s the way you put it on that has the FDA looking into it.

“If you do not use it, it will burn your skin,” said swimmer Carlton Alexander.

The Sun’s beating down, which means these swimmers are trying to stay cool in the pool.

And if you’re hanging out at the pool, you might want to grab some sunscreen–it’s supposed to prevent sunburn.

“It’s important to use it as long as you know you’re using something safe,” said Parent Ann Hill.

The FDA recently announced popular spray-on sunscreens may not be safe.

“One of the things that the FDA is concerned about is some of the compounds that are used to dissolve the chemicals or ingredients in the sunscreen are actually suspended in oil, and we know that oil inhalation directly can be a problem,” said Pediatrician Dr. Anthony Pearson-Shaver.

Pearson-Shaver is a pediatrician at the Medical Center of Central Georgia.

Breathing in the spray-on sunscreen could mean health problems.

“Aerosolized compounds are going to have smaller particles which means they can get into a smaller area in your lungs, as opposed to just the pump sprays,” said Pearson-Shaver.

It’s a problem parent Ann Hill doesn’t want to take chances with.

“I wouldn’t use it, and I wouldn’t advise anyone else to use it because we have to take care of our children and support them,” said Hill.

The FDA’s message? Be aware before you spray.

“They’re concerned that there may be more lung injuries secondary to the fact that, well, the FDA says I can use this now so I can start spraying it all over the place,” said Pearson-Shaver.

Dr. Pearson-Shaver advises everyone to use SPF 30 or above if you’re not trying to tan.

He also says to check and make sure your sunscreen blocks both UVA and UVB light–both of which can harm your skin.

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