New information indicates that spray tanning may cause cancer; just when you thought it was safe.
Emphasis here is on the word "may." There's some preliminary research that a chemical in spray tan, called DHA, may cause genetic mutations to cells in Petri dishes. There's currently no evidence that DHA does cause cancer but there's no evidence that it doesn't either.
Spray tan companies have previously told clients that a spray tan is completely safe but that may not have been their smartest move.
While spray tanning salons can still offer their product without FDA approval, they need to make clear that spraying on tanning lotion is not FDA approved and provide the FDA guidelines for safety or risk legal liability.
The purpose of the FDA's approval or disapproval process is two-fold. Obviously, it educates consumers about what is and is not safe for use. But it also provides sellers with some measure of protection from liability. If a food additive or drug turns out to be unsafe, the seller isn't on the hook for marketing an unsafe product since it was approved by the FDA.
That is, so long as the product was used according to FDA regulations.
DHA was approved for topical tanning lotion back in the 1970's when it was first introduced - and turned everyone who used it orange. But now it's in spray tan and it's causing concern among health experts.
The original studies on DHA's safety never investigated whether it is still safe in spray form which makes it more likely that the chemical will be inhaled.
It appears that spray tanning companies are already making efforts to comply with the new FDA guidelines. Major tanning salon Beach Bum Tanning and spray manufacturer Norvell are committed to educating consumers about the potential risks as reported to ABC news.
So the next time you find yourself in a spray tanning booth, make sure you're wearing those cute little goggles.