I was driving home from work and listening to my local radio station MINSTER FM when I heard someone say that eczema was to blame for hundreds of fires in the home.
” What the hecks that all about I thought ” I missed the beginning of the story so as soon as I got home I Google Eczema to blame for fires? The search took me to THE INDEPENDENT who ran the full story.
Paraffin-based skin products to blame
Basically, many products we use on our skin to treat eczema and other skin conditions contain Paraffin based ingredients. If used regularly the cream and paraffin ingredients can get into the fabric of your clothes, bandages and bedding and slowly build up even after washing and become more flammable than normal.
The cream is perfectly safe to use on the body but if the clothing that has Paraffin build up over goes near a naked flame it could set alight and burns quicker than normal clothing causing hundreds of fires and 37 recorded deaths due to this issue.
Fire Commander says they’re a fire risk
Chris Bell, a watch commander with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, said creams containing paraffin can be a fire hazard, particularly when they soak into fabrics.
Last year, a BBC investigation found 37 deaths had been linked to paraffin skin creams in England since 2010.
However, Mr Bell said the actual number of deaths is likely to be far higher.
Thousands of people in the UK alone use Paraffin based products so the actual number of fires caused by this problem is hard to know but the death toll is likely to be higher than first thought.
What can you do to prevent this happening?
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) advises patients using paraffin-based products not to smoke, use naked flames or go near anything that may cause a fire while creams are in contact with dressings or clothing.
Its advice states: “Patients’ clothing and bedding should be changed regularly – preferably daily – because emollients soak into the fabric and can become a fire hazard.”
Last year, the agency asked all manufacturers of paraffin skin creams to add a fire risk warning to their products.
It’s worth checking your products to see how much Paraffin is contained within the product.
It’s going to be difficult to predict how much paraffin is contained within each product and how to avoid the build-up. All we can suggest is that you’re careful around naked flames and fires and on special nights like BONFIRE NIGHT.
We have an article on BONFIRE NIGHT AND ECZEMA click the link to read this eczema blog.
Wash clothing regular and change bedding daily if possible. Smoking in the home is an obvious risk and should be avoided if possible.
Coal or real fires pose a real risk and should be considered and safety steps are taken and remove any possible dangers.
Please take care and be safe, we have enough to worry about with eczema and now this!!
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