Officials Concerned About Chemical Dangers Posed by Spray Tanning

Posted on June 12, 2012

ABC News launched an investigation into the safety of spray tans, and what they appear to have uncovered does not paint a pretty picture.

The news organization had six medical experts take a look at the results from ten studies conducted on dihydroxyacetone, or DHA, which is the active chemical that is typically used in spray tans.  After consideration of the research studies, the experts came to the conclusion that their might be a risk of the chemical altering a person’s genetic makeup, leading to things like cancer.  The panel expressed concerns with this potential danger and said that further study is warranted.

Although none of the studies the experts looked at focused on humans, alterations in the genes of various organisms and cells were found in multiple other trials.  These studies were conducted after the chemical received market approval.  One of the experts worried that the DHA could potentially enter a person’s bloodstream and be absorbed into their system.

DHA was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1977, when it became widely available in sun tan lotions.  But that was before the era of spray tans.  The FDA now warns against inhaling or ingesting DHA, a consequence that is all too common during a spray tan.  They say that consumers need to take steps to prevent ingestion, as DHA is not approved in spray form.

Sadly, the report says that tanning salons often offer advice that contradicts the FDA.

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