With the exception of coming out of the booth looking orange, spray tanning has been haled as a safer alternative to exposing your body to the UV rays of traditional tanning for a long time. Now ABC news reports that a chemical in the spray know as dihydroxyacetone (DHA), has shown to cause genetic mutations to cells when they are exposed to the chemical in a dish.
There have been no studies in humans and researchers are saying the mutation might not be dangerous or even occur in the human body, but at the same time they are calling for more research into the topic.
Dr. Rey Panettieri, a toxicologist and lung specialist at the University of Pennsylvania, told ABC news,
“These compounds, in some cells, could actually promote the development of cancers or malignancies, and if that’s the case then we need to be wary of them.”
The Food and Drug Administration has approved DHA for use outside the body only. They even caution getting it too close to the eyes areas or on the lips. There is a concern that if the DHA is inhaled it could cause lung cancer.
Evidence is also beginning to mount that a small amount of the spray is being absorbed into the system whereas before they only thought it was interacting with dead skin cells.
ABC investigated and found that most workers at the tanning salons that provide spray tans were totally unaware of the dangers of DHA. In response to the investigation most in the industry say they are going to provide more training to staff and let customers know what the FDA considers risky about it.