Spray Tanning Linked to Lung Cancer

By: Betsy Goldin Email
By: Betsy Goldin Email

Many people choose to get that tan glow from a bottle, or by getting a spray tan.

"Spray tan is a way to tan without exposing yourself to tanning beds or outside UV or UVB rays," said Nina Gregory, the owner of Exotic Exposure Tanning.

Gregory is the first to admit spray tanning is the safer alternative to direct sun exposure.
But, new research has linked spray tans to lung cancer, making many who get spray tans think twice.

The problem is DHA, the main ingredient in self tanners.
It is a color additive that darkens the skin.

"DHA. They're starting to do more stories and seeing that it may cause some genetic damage,” said Dr. William Tony McKenzie, with The Lung and Sleep Center. “Humans haven't been studied and none has been directly linked to humans."

DHA is found in many products that you are probably already using, and it is FDA approved.

It is approved for external use only, so people worry about what would happen if you inhale or get in your mouth or nose while getting a spray tan.

Dr. McKenzie said not enough research has been done to stop tanning quite yet.

"It's become a hot topic,” he said. “People would rather spray tan than go out in the sun. I'm sure the cosmetic industry will do more research and we'll see if anything's linked to humans."

Right now, it is unknown if genetic changes would occur in humans because of DHA.


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