A Freedom of Information request by ABC News resulted in the release of a FDA study on Tuesday that said spray tanning may not be a healthy alternative to sun tanning, potentially causing genetic alterations and DNA damage. A panel of medical experts expressed their concern that the active chemical in artificial tanning agents dihydroxyacetone (DHA) could result in serious illness. "These compounds in some cells could actually promote the development of cancers or malignancies," said Dr. Rey Panettieri, a toxicologist and lung specialist at the University of Pennsylvania. "If that's the case then we need to be wary of them." The report found that the tanning agent was present in dangerously high levels in users' living tissues. Prior to the FDA's release of the report, the tanning industry has fervently denied that DHA posed a health risk.
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