Spray tans are often thought to be a safe alternative to tanning booths or laying out in the natural sun to get a tan. That’s why the “Free Killer Tan” YouTube video went viral, as reported by the Inquisitr, when a mom on a mission to inform others about the dangers of skin cancer and tanning booths launched a charity responsible for the popular PSA, which offered unsuspecting New Yorkers free tans, but draped their tanning booths in funeral flowers so that it resembled a coffin, and made the tanning session like a funeral, replete with creepy organ music, a self-portrait funeral program and mourners. Now ABC’s Good Morning America reports that chemical spray tans might also pose a health risk, that is, if the chemicals within the spray tans are inhaled.
The safety of ‘spray on’ tans was also questioned by ABC News back in 2012, which noted that although dihydroxyacetone (or DHA) — the chemical that turns the skin brown from spray tans — was approved by the FDA back in the 1970s, it was only used within lotions to rub on the skin, not sprayed all over the body where it could potentially be inhaled into the lungs or sprayed in the eyes. It could potentially cause DNA damage, which might be the reason that several pregnant woman told GMA that their doctors warned them against getting spray tans, saying “no way” to the process.
As seen in the Good Morning America “Chemical Spray Tans May Pose Health Risk” Hulu video, several tanning salons didn’t mention to their patrons that they had protective eye gear like goggles and masks to cover the eyes and mouths to prevent inhalation of the DHA component in spray tans. In fact, several places warned customers away from wearing protective gear, because they didn’t want to give their customers the “raccoon eyes” appearance, where the spray tan chemical doesn’t land.
Yet and still, spray tans are a popular way for folks to get a so-called “healthy” glow in the winter and throughout the year, feeling slimmer, taller, and more fashionable when their skin is a bit darker. Spray tans are quite a popular thing in the bodybuilding world and in the world of bikini and fitness competitions, because the darker hue makes the muscles “pop” and look better under the glaring lights of the stage.
Spray-On Fashion by the New Yorker gives readers an up close and personal view of what it’s like for a newbie to get a spray tan for New York Fashion Week.
[Image via the New Yorker/Getty]