London: Fake tan users beware! Experts have warned that harsh chemicals in the lotions could cause serious health risks including infertility problems.
According to the experts in UK, a cocktail of ingredients in the creams includes poisonous substances like cancer-causing formaldehyde and nitrosamines.
Experts said pregnant women who apply the tanning lotions face a higher risk of birth defects, adding men and women both could suffer fertility problems,`The Sun` reported.
"It would be prudent to take a precautionary approach to many of these chemicals until their effects are more fully understood," Jacqueline McGlad, executive director of the European Environment Agency said.
"They may be a contributing factor behind the significant increases in cancers, diabetes and obesity and falling fertility. It`s the cocktail effect," McGlad was quoted by the paper as saying.
Ingredients such as sodium glutamate (MSG) and tartrazine are also found in the lotions and can cause concern for allergy sufferers if the product is used on a long-term basis.
Other chemicals found in the creams include Sulphur Dioxide and Benzophenone-3, a gender-bending chemical which mimics the effect of oestrogen, among others.
Majority of these products use dihydroxyacetone (DHA) which reacts with amino acids in the skin, causing it to turn darker.
Fake tan sales are worth 100 million pounds a year in the UK and are the fastest-growing area for cosmetic sales. A third of women and one in ten men admit to using it.