Is Tanning While Pregnant or Nursing Safe?
Most people feel better with a bit of a tan. As a result, there’s no shortage of mommy message boards that claim it is safe to continue spray tanning while pregnant or nursing. Many even try to alleviate concern by pointing out that the “DHA in tanning spray is the same thing that is in prenatal vitamins.”
It is NOT the same DHA!
The chemical DHA in self tanners has been linked to birth defects and other health concerns. While this DHA is determined to be safe for external use because it does not penetrate the skin, the FDA has not approved it for spray applications because the chemical can be inhaled or come in contact with mucus membranes (i.e. eyes & lips).
Former ABC News investigative reporter Mark Greenblatt highlights the concerns in this excellent investigation:
Safety of Popular ‘Spray On’ Tans in Question; Are You Protected? – ABC News
The active chemical used in spray tans, dihydroxyacetone (DHA), has the potential to cause genetic alterations and DNA damage…
The FDA originally approved DHA for “external” use back in 1977, when it was popular in tanning lotions. In recent years, the use of DHA has exploded in the newer “spray” application of the product, which provides a more even tan for consumers.
The FDA told ABC News it never could have envisioned the chemical’s use in spray tan back in the 1970s, and says “DHA should not be inhaled or ingested” today. It tells consumers on its website, “The use of DHA in ‘tanning’ booths as an all-over spray has not been approved by the FDA, since safety data to support this use has not been submitted to the agency for review and evaluation.”
Before you spray tan while pregnant or breastfeeding, watch Greenblatt’s report here.
As a result of this report, tanning salons were supposed to begin offering protection for your nose, eyes & mouth.
As for nursing, it’s not clear if the DHA could contaminate breast milk, though many agree it does seem unlikely under normal circumstances. However, it is clear that you should not let your child come in contact with any of the chemical residue on your skin.
Aside from running the risk of turning your child orange, the health risks remain unknown.
Experts suggest covering your breasts while tanning to avoid getting any DHA on the area of your breasts that comes in contact with your child. Keep in mind, the chemical remains on your skin even after it is dry.
Does your tanning salon provide protection? Tell us @NewsMomDotCom
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