Spray tans have long been touted as the safe alternative to tanning beds and the good old fashioned sun tanning. Now the experts have come out with a dire warning. The active ingredient in the solution sprayed on your skin, dihydroxyacetone (DHA), was approved by the FDA in the 1970's as a safe addition to the new product line of self tanners. No one envisioned that the solution would eventually become an airborne particulate, inhaled by the consumer. And there in lies the problem - the particles are being inhaled and, at most salons, also applied to the very thin skin around the eyes.
To make matters worse, there seems to be a huge misinformation problem from the tanning salons themselves. In an investigation by ABC news, it was found that many salons around the country actually publicize that DHA is "Food Grade". There is a food additive, ironically used in heath foods and supplements, that is also known as DHA. The two chemicals couldn't be further apart. The food grade DHA is actually an omega 3 fatty acid called docosahexaenoic acid.
The main concerns come from studies that show that the DHA found in tanning sprays actually alters DNA and changes cell structure in non-human test subjects. But, the number of studies that show the changes have become too consistent and too many to ignore. Health agencies are concerned that the rapidly changing cells may cause cancer in humans. The eye lashes and thin skin around the eyes become direct conduits to the bloodstream. And without proper nose filters the chemical is being directly inhaled into the lungs. It could be years before the damage shows up in actual medical conditions.
There are real concerns about whether or not pregnant women should be indulging in spray tanning under any circumstances.
The industry has responded quickly and sent out the following recommendations to all affiliated salons:
We now recommend the following:
- Use of Protective Undergarments
- Use of Nose Filters
- Use of Lip Balm
- Use of Protective Eyewear
If you are a spray tanner, and plan to continue, make sure that the salon you are using is practicing the new safety guidelines. Better safe than sorry.
Mon, June 18, 2012
by Alicia Prince