As more young people are grasping the negative health effects of sun tanning, many are turning to a chemical alternative for bronzing: fake tanning lotions.
Tanning products contain a number of chemicals, some of which have been linked to adverse health effects, including infertility.
Most notably, hormone-disrupting compounds may even harm developing fetuses.
Additionally, carcinogens, such as formaldehyde and nitrosamines, skin irritants and chemicals linked to allergies, diabetes, obesity are also on the products’ list of ingredients.
Some experts worry that the increased use of tanning lotions and their whole-body application puts customers at an increased risk of negative side effects.
Jacqueline McGlade, executive director of the European Environment Agency, calls it the “cocktail effect’ and points out that we should be using a ‘precautionary approach’ to many of the chemicals until we have a complete understanding of their health effects.
Some scientists worry that dihydroxyacetone, the active ingredient in tanning products, may be absorbed into the bloodstream and cause DNA damage in cells.
No scientific studies have shown that fake tanning products cause harmful effects in humans. However, many researchers worry that complex side effects of the products may be overlooked.