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For the record

Chemicals in spray tan "may increase the incidence of cancer, diabetes, obesity and to impair fertility." Image

Chemicals in spray tan "may increase the incidence of cancer, diabetes, obesity and to impair fertility."

The Daily Mail on 18th July 2013 carried a report on a Boots recall of its Seventeen Instant Glow Bronzing Spray following reports of customers suffering ‘respiratory issues’. However in the paper edition, the article went onto quote Elizabeth Salter-Green from the CHEM Trust charity "If girls continue to use them, their fertility may be affected. Many chemicals in fake tan are toxic to reproduction and can harm a foetus". The online article quoted Jacqueline McGlade, executive director of the European Environment Agency, who has said the chemicals in fake tan “may be a contributing factor behind the significant increases in cancers, diabetes, obesity and falling fertility”.

Professor Alan Boobis, toxicologist, Imperial College London, says:

“It is unfortunate that some newspaper reports have chosen to use the opportunity of this recall to introduce an entirely unrelated concern; that of the possible long term impact of chemicals present in fake tan, which might increase the incidence of cancer, diabetes, obesity and impair fertility. These concerns were based on studies that found some of the chemicals had effects on the endocrine system in some test systems. However, the relevance of these findings are disputed and none of the chemicals in use are considered by regulatory authorities in the UK or elsewhere in Europe to be a cause for concern when used in these products.”

“This criticism of fake tans can be applied to a much broader range of products not only the product that has been recalled. It seems somewhat perverse to accuse compounds of possible effects which are totally unrelated to the reasons for the product recall.”

Document type: For The Record

Published: 18 July 2013

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