Australian authorities are urgently contacting the distributors of Banana Boat sunscreens to check whether products that have been recalled in the US because of a fire risk are still on shelves here.

The maker of Banana Boat sunscreen is recalling about 500,000 bottles of spray-on lotion after reports a handful of people caught on fire after using the product and coming in contact with an open flame.

Energizer Holdings said on Friday that it was pulling 23 varieties of the UltraMist sunscreen off store shelves due to the risk of the lotion igniting when exposed to fire.

A spokeswoman for Australia’s drugs regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), said it was trying to get in touch with local distributors.

‘‘The TGA is urgently contacting the distributors to see if this exact product is available in Australia, as well as liaising with the FDA (Food and Drug Administration in the US) and other overseas regulators,’’ the spokeswoman said.

Comment was being sought from Banana Boat’s local distributor.

The recall in the US includes aerosol products like UltraMist Sport, UltraMist Ultra Defense and UltraMist Kids.

An Energizer spokesman said there had been five reports of people suffering burns after using the sunscreen in the last year.Four burns cases were reported in the US and one in Canada.

More than 20 million units have been sold since UltraMist launched in 2010, the spokesman said.

The problem appeared to be caused by UltraMist’s spray valve, which was over-applying the product, Energizer said in a statement.

As a result, the lotion was taking longer to dry, increasing the flammability risk.‘‘If a consumer comes into contact with a flame or spark prior to complete drying of the product on the skin, there is a potential for the product to ignite,’’ the company said.

AAP