While spray tans are being marketed as a safe alternative to sunbeds, a new study has revealed that they too may pose some serious health risks including cancer.
A panel of experts revealed that the main ingredient in spray tans, dihydroxyacetone or DHA, can damage DNA and increase the risk of cancer if they enter the lungs and then reach the bloodstream.
The experts added that apart from cancer, DHA can also increase the risk of a number of lung problems such as emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
"The substance seems to have a potential for what they call creating mutations or changing DNA in living cells, which is a serious problem and needs to be further investigated, yet hasn't been. 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, dean of the School of Public Health and Health Services at George Washington University in Washington DC, said.