Awareness For Sunless Spray Tan Users

The color additive dihydroxyacetone (DHA), used as the primary tanning ingredient for sunless tanning booths and sprayers, came under scrutiny by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in June (2003) The FDA released a statement of position cautioning consumers of spray tanning to take precautions regarding the "unapproved" use of DHA around the eyes and mucous membranes and to take special precautions to avoid inhaling or ingesting the fine mist.

DHA is listed in the FDA's Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C act) regulations as a color additive for use in adding color to the human body. Since DHA is applied as a cosmetic ingredient, as in sunless tanning, its' use is approved for "external application". The regulation classifies externally-applied cosmetics as those "applied only to external parts of the body and not to the lips or any body surface covered by mucous membrane". In addition, no color additive may be used in cosmetics intended for use in the area of the eye unless the color additive is permitted specifically for such use.

Since it is difficult to avoid exposure in the manner in which DHA is not approved, as a spray or mist, the FDA suggests that consumers ask the following questions when considering commercial facilities where DHA is applied in this manner:

• Are consumers protected from exposure in the entire area of the eyes, in addition to the eyes themselves?

• Are consumers protected from exposure on the lips and all parts of the body covered by mucous membrane?

• Are consumers protected from internal exposure caused by inhaling or ingesting this product?

The FDA says the consumer is not protected from the use of sunless products if the answer is "no" to any of these questions. Salons that offer sunless services should insure that consumers are protected from exposure in the entire area of the eyes, the lips and all parts of the body covered by mucous membrane, and from internal exposure from inhaling or ingesting the product. DHA was first approved for cosmetic use in 1973 as a topical substance. It was listed with three "risk numbers" : R36 (irritating to the eyes), R37 (irritating to the respiratory system), and R38 (irritating to the skin).

info from "Looking Fit"(10/03) and "Today's Image" (10/03)

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Tanning & Natural Health News is a publication of Tan Plus /Essentials Of Life, Barclay Square, 350 Route 108, Somersworth, NH. This publication is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be presented as medical advice. Product statements made have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration.

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