Posted by Neharika Sabharwal on July 23, 2012

According to experts in UK, women who use fake tan to acquire the sun-kissed look may be inadvertently elevating their risk of fertility problems.

Getting a skin tan from sunlight and sunbeds has long been maligned by medics for allegedly causing cancer hence many people are turning to the “safer option” of spray tanning.

In fact, the so called healthier alternative intended to make people feel as if they are using all-natural substances in reality contain a cocktail of chemicals that are harmful and unhealthy.

Jacqueline McGlad, executive director of the European Environment Agency said, "It would be prudent to take a precautionary approach to many of these chemicals until their effects are more fully understood.

"They may be a contributing factor behind the significant increases in cancers, diabetes and obesity and falling fertility. It`s the cocktail effect," McGlad was quoted by the paper as saying.

Toxic ingredients
Dangerous ingredients found in chemical tanning agents include hormone-disrupting compounds, which can affect the healthy development of babies.

Pregnant women who apply tanning lotions face a higher risk of birth defects. Both the sexes could suffer fertility problems, caution medics.

The cosmetics also contain toxic ingredients like cancer-causing formaldehyde and nitrosamines as well chemicals such as sodium glutamate (MSG) and tartrazine which could cause skin irritation redness, itching and discomfort if used regularly.

Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) is used as the 'active ingredient' in all chemical tanning agents. It forms a chemical reaction with amino acids on the skin surface and results in a dark layer on the skin.

When sprayed it can be inhaled and absorbed through the skin into the blood circulation. This could, in very rare cases, damage DNA and cause tumours. The chemical may aggravate asthma and other lung problems, such as emphysema.

Dr Lynn Goldman, dean of the School of Public Health and Health Services at George Washington University, in Washington DC said, "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."

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