Tan-In-A-Can Not Safe
June 14, 2012

Tan-In-A-Can Not Safe

Just when we thought spray tans were the way to go in order to safely get the bronze we so desperately desire, researchers are now saying that tan-in-a-can could also pose a health risk.

Although melanoma may not be what scientists are warning about now, they are saying spray tanning products may be harmful to the lungs.

According to an ABC News report, the main ingredient in can tan, dihydroxyacetone (DHA), could worsen asthma conditions, and can be absorbed into the bloodstream.

The panel of experts told the news agency that lab tests on cells showed that the chemical could cause changes to DNA.

Six experts said they were worried about the harmful effects of spray tanning after reviewing 10 scientific studies of DHA, although none of the studies involved actual human testing.

“What we´re concerned about is not so much that reaction that creates the tanning, but reactions that may occur deeper down with living cells that might then change DNA, causing a mutation and what the possible impacts of that might be.” Dr. Lynn Goldman, the dean of the school of public health at George Washington University told ABC News.

"I´d be very concerned for the potential of lung cancer," Goldman continued.

Dr. Rey Panettieri, a toxicologist and lung specialist at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine, told the news agency that he had concerns.

"The reason I'm concerned is the deposition of the tanning agents into the lungs could really facilitate or aid systemic absorption -- that is, getting into the bloodstream," he told ABC.

He did warn that the available scientific data is limited, but he has still seen enough to say the warning signs are there.

"These compounds in some cells could actually promote the development of cancers or malignancies," he told ABC News, "and if that's the case then we need to be wary of them."

According to the report, the FDA said DHA should not be inhaled or ingested, and that the use of the chemical in tan-in-a-can products has not been approved.

The agency told ABC that it recommends, "Consumers should request measures to protect their eyes and mucous membranes and prevent inhalation."

The news agency said the tanning industry announced it will launch a major national training initiative to inform salons and customers about the FDA recommendations involving "spray tan."

The report said that it sent out undercover cameras into a dozen randomly selected tanning salons in New York City after the tanning industry said it would be reaching out to its salons.  According to ABC, every salon visited said tan-in-a-can methods were completely "safe" with or without using protective gear.

Nine out of the 12 salons that were visited by the undercover reporters admitted that they did not have any eye covers in stock.  Even those salons that did have them in stock insisted they were not needed.

"You don't need it. You really don't need it," one salon employee said, according to the ABC report.

Dr. Donald Morton, of the John Wayne Cancer Institute in California, told KTLA that spray tans may be more harmful than baking in the sun.

“If anything, I think tanning outside is safer,” Morton told the television station.