Firefighters warn that hundreds of deaths could be linked to skin creams 10 months ago

Firefighters warn that hundreds of deaths could be linked to skin creams


A senior firefighter in the UK has warned that hundreds of fire deaths could be linked to the use of skin creams containing paraffin.

A BBC investigation found that if people use the creams regularly it can soak into clothes and bedding, even if they're changed and washed regularly, and poses a significant fire risk if it comes into contact with heaters or cigarettes.

Last year, the BBC found that 37 deaths have been linked since 2010 but now the fire services have said that creams used for treating conditions like eczema and psoriasis may have played a role in many other deaths without investigators realising.

In a shocking video (available to watch in full here), firefighters carried out a test of six pieces of identical material, some uncontaminated and some contaminated with emollient creams with varying levels of percentage of paraffin base.

After just 11 seconds below, you can see the contaminated material covered in flames compared to the control.

The result is even more stark after 30 seconds.

Firefighter Chris Bell, watch commander with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, said that if you're only an occasional user of these paraffin containing creams, the risk is quite small. But chronic sufferers of skin conditions are more at risk and should be particularly wary if they're smokers.

The BBC investigation found that most creams do not carry fire warnings despite the risk.