Banana Boat Faces Potential Class Action Lawsuit over Alleged Sunburns
An Australian law firm is considering a class action against sunscreen brand Banana Boat after a string of angry consumers claimed they were burned while using its aerosol products.
Bannister Law was approached by a woman who claimed she and her five children suffered sunburn shortly after applying Banana Boat’s Ultra Clear Sunscreen Spray SPF 50+ and Kids Clear Sunscreen Spray 50+.
The law firm asked Sydney-based skincare product-testing company Eurofins Dermatest to conduct independent tests on seven Banana Boat aerosol sunscreens.
Principal of Bannister Law, Charles Bannister, said all seven fell short of the marketed SPF 50+.
“The tests revealed a range of 11 SPF and 18 SPF for those aerosols which are advertised as 50+ SPF,” he said.
“To claim SPF 50+ products need to test greater that 60+. Australia is known as the sunburned country, so in my mind, these results are concerning.”
Bannister Law said Australians who bought Banana Boat aerosol sunscreens could mount a legal case against the company.
“We’d like a full refund for all consumers who have purchased and been misled by the packaging,” Mr Bannister said.
A spokesperson from Edgewell Personal Care Australia, which owns Banana Boat, disputed the test findings.
“These results are entirely inconsistent with the testing we have conducted at Edgewell’s reputable labs in accordance with the Australian mandatory standard as regulated by the TGA [Therapeutic Goods Administration],” they said.
“All Banana Boat products meet the SPF claim as labelled on pack.”
Banana Boat Inundated with Social Media Complaints Last Summer
In January, dozens of people flooded Banana Boat’s Facebook page to complain that they had experienced sunburns despite using their products.
One Melbourne woman told the ABC she had to be prescribed pain medication after suffering “horrific” burns on the backs of her legs while wearing Banana Boat spray-on SPF 50.
A number of people also reported experiencing similar problems with Cancer Council products.
Banana Boat insisted its products were safe and said consumers were not applying enough sunscreen to adequately protect themselves from the sun.
Mr Bannister said he believed his test results showed the consumer was not to blame.
“The tests conducted by Eurofins Dermatest indicate substantial problems with Banana Boat’s aerosol range, and not consumers’ poor application,” Mr Bannister said.
Aerosol spray sunscreens have become popular in recent years because they feel lighter than creams and are easy to apply on squirming children.
But some dermatologists say it is difficult to get enough protection from aerosols, and the product can often blow away if applied outdoors.
The TGA is reviewing the manufacture, labelling and safety of sunscreens with a report expected to be finished by the end of the year.
Consumers interested in joining the potential class action can register online.