Cooking spray safety: What you need to know

GREAT FALLS - You may want to think twice about using the cooking spray in your family’s kitchen cabinets.

According to the Chicago Tribune, six cases have been filed against Conagra Brands after several of their cooking sprays including “Pam” exploded while in use, leaving people across the United States severely burned and injured.

According to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries:

”These products can be safely used when they are kept at room temperature and sprayed away from sources of heat and ignition. The greatest danger from these products is when they are kept in a location, such as next to or over the cook top, where they become very warm.  This causes an increase in pressure in the can which can cause it to burst, particularly if it is dropped or bumped.”

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries is urging you to look and see if your product is “flammable”. Meaning it could be hazardous since it’s pressurized and possibly contains butane or propane. Check your workplace and house for flammable items. If you have them, make sure they are stored in a safe place. If you use cooking spray, apply it away from heat.

We also reached out to Conagra Brands for a comment, but haven’t heard back as of the writing of this article. 

According to Vaughn Fire & Rescue VFD, even aerosol cans like bear spray have chemicals like capsaicin that are flammable and can ignite a flame if left out in the heat. Meaning, firefighters say it won't necessarily start a fire until the flame catches on to materials like wood or paper.

According to Vaughn Fire & Rescue, Dave Payne (who has 35 years of experience in hazmat):

“Oleoresin capsicum has a 145 degree Celsius flash point, which is 293 degrees Fahrenheit. It was a 5.7 pH depending on the strength of the bear spray. When It burns, the particles become airborne so that’s why you’re to avoid exposure to heat, sources of ignition, and open flame. This process makes the chemical, oleoresin capsicum flammable," said Payne. 

If you have any more questions, you can also call the Vaughn Fire Department at: 406-403-8744

Firefighters say make sure you check the labels on aerosol cans to see it if it says "flammable".

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