Women who use fake tan could put themselves at an increased risk of fertility problems and babies with birth defects. Although seen as a safe alternative to sunbeds, the products can contain a “cocktail” of chemicals which may pose a risk to health and even cause cancer.
Among the dangerous ingredients in fake tan are hormone-disrupting compounds, which can affect the development of foetuses. The products also often contain carcinogens, including formaldehyde and nitrosamines, as well as skin irritants and chemicals linked to allergies, diabetes, obesity and fertility problems. Jacqueline McGlade, executive director of the European Environment Agency, said the chemicals it contains “may be a contributing factor
behind the significant increases in cancers, diabetes, obesity and falling fertility”.The chemical dihydroxyacetone (DHA) in particular, which is the active ingredient in these products, has now come under much scrutiny as investigations suggest that the main ingredient in spray-on tans are causing genetic alterations and DNA damage that can greatly affect users of the product. Medical experts ranging from dermatology doctors to pulmonary medicine have indicated “concerns” about the impact of the tanning compounds if they were to find its way into the bloodstream or inhaled, which is likely since the products are generally sprayed all over the body.
The products often also contain carcinogens, including formaldehyde and nitrosamines, as well as skin irritants and chemicals linked to allergies, diabetes, obesity and fertility problems.
Elizabeth Salter-Green, of the UK charity the Chem Trust, added that “many of the chemicals in fake tan are toxic to reproduction and can harm a foetus.”