Researchers added that besides the cancer concern, DHA can create other negative health effects such as birth defects; this is especially the case if a pregnant woman allows the spray-on tan mist to get inside her body, according to Goldman.
As long as it's been available, spray-on tans have always been considered a safe alternative to sun tanning, which exposes your skin to harmful (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UV#Cancer_risk) UV rays that accelerate the aging of your skin and can ultimately create teratomas.
According to a panel of medical experts, the active chemical used in spray-on tans -- dihydroxyacetone (DHA) -- can potentially damage one's DNA and cause genetic alterations.
Having sufficiently reviewed the literature and reports about DHA, the team of experts believe the warning signs of serious health concerns exist in spray-on tans.
He added that the dose from a single spray or two wouldn't be enough to impact someone's health, but those who regularly spray tan, week after week, as well as the tanning salon workers that apply up to 20 spray-on tans a day without protection, should be concerned.
Here in the U.S., the FDA says no manufacturer has ever tried to present similar evidence or create a thorough safety review of DHA in spray-on tans. The FDA also says that it will not yet step into the "unapproved use" of DHA.
But until the FDA decides to step in, and until more studies are released on the long-term effects of DHA, people should largely try to avoid spray-on tans and tanning salons, especially on a regular basis.
It's been quite a few years since I last had a spray-on tan and it was a deliberate decision to never have one again since the three times I tried it, it was always a disaster: streaky, fading unevenly and bright orange (like I'd just been Tangoed), not to mention the obvious wash-line on the hands because they were the most washed area.
With that in mind, when Chris first asked me if I wanted to be their guinea pig for the new St Tropez spray-on tan they've just started doing at Head 2 Toe I have to admit I was a little wary.