Tanning and Infertility

Who would have thought?: Fake tanning lotions may be harmful to your fertility

Think you’re avoiding the negative effects of the sun by getting your tan from a bottle? Think again. While you may be avoiding those ultra violet rays, recent research suggests that you may be exposing yourself to other health risks. Experts are warning that the “cocktail” of chemicals used in fake tanning creams and lotions may reduce fertility and affect the healthy development of babies. Ingredients often used in these bronzing products are carcinogens including formaldehyde and nitrosamines, and skin irritants and chemicals that have been linked to other health concerns. These creams and lotions are more problematic than other cosmetics because they are usually sprayed over the entire body – with some women using these bronzing products on a regular basis. The active ingredient in fake tanning products is dihydroxyacetone, which reacts with the skin to turn it brown. However, it is often inhaled and/or absorbed into the blood stream, where it has the potential to cause harm. Although cosmetic manufacturers insist that all ingredients in these artificial tanning products are safe, Jacqueline McGlade, executive director at the European Environment Agency, suggests that a “precautionary approach” to the use of these chemicals is warranted “until their effects are more fully understood”.

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