A NEW campaign is reminding people about the safety precautions they should take when they regularly use emollient skin products.
The awareness drive by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) highlights the risk that emollients may leave residue on clothes and bedding, increasing the chance of fabrics catching fire when exposed to a naked flame or lit cigarette and causing them to burn more quickly than they would normally.
The MHRA stresses that emollients are important in managing certain skin conditions and does not advise anyone to stop using them.
Michelle Riddalls, PAGB Chief Executive, said:
“Safety is the number one priority for the consumer healthcare industry.
“We support efforts by the MHRA and our members to ensure everyone who uses emollients knows about the fire risks associated with a build-up of residue from these products on clothes, bedding and other fabrics.
“Our members have worked with the MHRA since 2019 to introduce appropriate warnings on emollient packaging.
“Emollient creams themselves are not flammable and the normal use of emollients in the home is considered to be safe.
“Emollients are important treatments. They are highly effective in helping people manage the symptoms of chronic and often severe dry skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, which, left untreated, can be debilitating and painful.
“People should continue to use these products, but it is vital that they and their carers understand the fire risk associated with a build-up of residue on fabric and, crucially, take the steps necessary to mitigate that risk.
“The MHRA campaign clearly explains how best to do that – for example, by ensuring that clothing or bedding which has been in contact with emollient products is kept away from sources of fire, such as candles and lit cigarettes.
“We welcome the efforts of the MHRA and other organisations that are supporting its campaign, including the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC), to make sure that everyone who benefits from using emollients has the information they need to continue doing so safely.”