Specific Substances: Dihydroxyacetone
Nomination Date: 02/18/1998
Rationale: Sunless tanning products are the fastest growing segment of the suntanning preparation markets. All sunless tanners contain dihyroxyacetone (DHA). Existing information on the toxicity of DHA appears contradictory. It is a mutagen that induces DNA strand breaks, and it is also an intermediate in carbohydrate metabolism in higher plants and animals. When DHA was applied to the skin of mice, no carcinogenic effect was observed. However, it is unclear whether this negative response was caused by a failure of the compound to penetrate the skin. NCI is nominating DHA for dermal penetration studies in rats and mice to determine whether it can penetrate the skin. This information will clarify whether additional testing is needed.