Tuesday, June 12 2012, 03:35 PM EDT
Are 'Spray-On' Tans Safe?
By Mark Greenblatt and Gitika Ahuja, ABC News

The active chemical used in spray tans, dihydroxyacetone (DHA), has the potential to cause genetic alterations and DNA damage, according to a panel of medical experts who reviewed 10 of the most-current publicly available scientific studies on DHA for ABC News, including a federal report ABC News obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

Six medical experts in areas ranging across the fields of dermatology, toxicology and pulmonary medicine said they "have concerns" after reviewing the literature and reports about DHA, the main chemical in the popular "spray-on" tan, which has conventionally been referred to as the "safe" alternative to tanning under ultraviolet lights.

None of the reviewed studies tested on actual human subjects, but some found DHA altered genes of multiple types of cells and organisms when tested in different labs by different scientists after the chemical was approved for use in the consumer market.

Click here to view a web extra video: "DHA Health Risk: Potential Lung Complications"

"I have concerns," said Dr. Rey Panettieri, a toxicologist and lung specialist at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine. "The reason I'm concerned is the deposition of the tanning agents into the lungs could really facilitate or aid systemic absorption -- that is, getting into the bloodstream."

Panettieri, like all the experts ABC News consulted with, said more studies should be done. He emphasized the available scientific literature is limited. Still, he said, he has seen enough to say the warning signs of serious health concerns exist.

"These compounds in some cells could actually promote the development of cancers or malignancies," he said, "and if that's the case then we need to be wary of them."

The FDA originally approved DHA for "external" use back in 1977, when it was popular in tanning lotions. Those lotions, previously famous for turning skin orange, were never as popular as current products that produce better tans. 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."

The agency advises consumers who spray tan they are "not protected from the unapproved use of this color additive" if they are inhaling the mist or allowing it to get inside their body. The agency recommends, "Consumers should request measures to protect their eyes and mucous membranes and prevent inhalation."

However, ABC News found some tanning salons offering consumers advice that directly conflicts with what the Food and Drug Administration has recommended.

In response to ABC News' findings, the tanning industry has announced it will launch a major national training initiative that will hit thousands of salons across the United States over the next few weeks, intended to inform both salons and customers who "spray tan" about the FDA recommendations.

Tanning Salons: Undercover Investigation

However, in an attempt to see if that message was reaching consumers, ABC News sent undercover cameras into a dozen randomly selected tanning salons in New York City ranging from a large corporate location to smaller mom-and-pop salons.

Every salon ABC News visited said spray tanning was completely "safe" with or without protective gear.

When asked, nine out of 12 salons did not have any eye covers in stock. Similarly, nine out of 12 salons did not have nose plugs in stock. Eleven out of 12 failed to have any protective gear for the mouth available.

However, even if salons had some of the gear in stock, every salon ABC News visited discouraged using it.

"You don't need it. You really don't need it," one salon employee said.

Another discouraged eye protection, saying it would impact the appearance of the tan.

"We wouldn't recommend for you to wear them because when you spray your face that part is going to be not tan," a salon employee said.

A different salon said, "We also have goggles but you don't need them."

Yet another salon wrongly told undercover ABC News producers that DHA is so safe, it is used to help treat diabetes and can be injected into the body.

The findings by ABC News were enough to convince the industry's top tanning salon trainer to launch the comprehensive national program to reinforce the FDA's safety recommendations.

"As a result of your investigation I will be developing a unit to emphasize training points on the usage of the protective measures by spray tanning clients," said Joe Levy in an email to ABC News.

Levy is the executive director of the International Smart Tan Network, the educational institute for the North American sun bed community.

"I am going to personally review protocol in facilities that are doing this effectively and, based on that assessment, immediately put training in place to improve compliance everywhere," he said.

Levy said his message will go out in several phases over the next few weeks and estimated that it should hit "nearly every salon in the United States."
Spray Tans: False Sense of Security Given Online

ABC News also discovered many tanning salons across the nation wrongly telling consumers on their websites that DHA is so safe that it is "food grade," and, "approved for ingestion by the FDA."

One potential source of the inaccurate information was one of the largest manufacturers of spray tan product in America, Norvell Skin Solutions, ABC News found.

The company runs what it calls "Norvell University," a detailed educational course designed for tanning salons and technicians who wish to offer spray tans to clients. ABC News found Norvell wrongly training salons online and in its course material by saying that "DHA is a food grade product approved for ingestion by the FDA. In fact, the largest user of DHA in the world is the health supplement industry."

The salons and Norvell may have been confusing two very different kinds of "DHA," each with the same abbreviated name. The type of DHA the FDA tells consumers not to inhale or ingest, also called dihydroxyacetone, is the chemical that turns your skin brown.

However, an omega 3 fatty acid called docosahexaenoic acid also shares the same abbreviation "DHA." That type of DHA can be found in salmon or milk. It is approved by the FDA to be eaten and is thought to help reduce the risk of coronary disease.

"We were absolutely in error," said Rick Norvell, president of Norvell Skin Solutions, after ABC News contacted him about the discrepancy.

Norvell subsequently removed the inaccurate claims from the company's course material and took it offline. He also issued a letter to all of the tanning salons and distributors who use the company's product nationwide. In that letter, Norvell referenced the ABC News report and said, "In our most recent review of the Norvell and Norvell University documents and websites we have removed the term 'food grade' in reference to our products."

The manufacturer also informed tanning salons it is now recommending full implementation of the FDA recommendations for consumers to use protective measures when spray tanning.

"As many of you may be aware, the FDA has suggested guidelines as to the recommended use and operation of our products within the sunless industry," Norvell wrote to his customer base. "We should also point out these guidelines apply to at home use products such as aerosols and bag-on-valve self-tanning sprays containing DHA. Our professional industry should not be singled out. ... Although not mandated, anything the FDA suggests, we at Norvell take seriously."

Norvell went on to specifically note:

"When spraying DHA the FDA recommends and Norvell concurs with utilizing the following guidelines:
Use of Protective Undergarments
Use of Nose Filters
Use of Lip Balm
Use of Protective Eyewear."

Norvell told ABC News in an email, "This reminder was sent via Eblast, Twitter and Facebook to approximately 14[,000]-16,000 contacts."

Further, Norvell provided those contacts with a printable sign "for use at your front counter or within your sunless spray rooms," which informs consumers of the safety recommendations.

DHA: 'A Potential Health Hazard'?

The FDA recently released a report to ABC News, following a Freedom of Information Act request, in which agency scientists wrote, "New information regarding the genotoxicity and carcinogenicity of DHA has become available since the listing of DHA as a color additive."

In the report, dated 1999, agency scientists cited the "new information" discovered by non-FDA researchers who had tested DHA in laboratory settings and found it had the potential for what they called a "mutagenic" effect on genes. The various studies, conducted mostly by university researchers, tested DHA's effects on different types of cells and organisms, including bacteria, salmonella, ecoli and mice skin cells grown in a lab. None of the tests done at the time tested human cells or humans themselves. Still, the results were enough to prompt the agency in the 1990s to attempt to determine how much DHA might be seeping into the living areas of the body when applied to the skin to tan.

Prior to the FDA release this year of its 1999 report to ABC News, the tanning industry and even many in the field of dermatology thought DHA only interacted with proteins in the outer protective layers of human skin, also called the stratum corneum, where the skin cells are already dead and where DHA could pose no health risk.

However, in the report released to ABC News, FDA scientists concluded that DHA does not stop at the outer dead layers of skin.

They wrote: "The fate of DHA remaining in skin is an important issue, since high DHA skin levels were found."

They added that tests they performed revealed that much of the DHA applied to skin actually ended up in the living layers of skin.

They concluded: "This leaves about 11 percent of the applied DHA dose absorbed remaining in the [living] epidermis and dermis."

Four years after the report was issued, the FDA wrote a follow-up paper based on the same data, concluding that "probably" only 0.5 percent of each application of DHA becomes "systemically available," meaning distributed throughout the body after reaching the bloodstream.

The agency concluded that 0.5 percent of an applied dose of DHA was poor absorption, and no further testing was done to check for actual toxicological impacts on the human body. The thinking was that because only a little bit of DHA entered the bloodstream, the health risk would be very low.

However, any absorption into the living areas of the skin could be pose a potential risk, even if none of it made it into the bloodstream, said Dr. Darrell Rigel, an NYU professor of dermatology. The fact that some does potentially get into the bloodstream raised additional red flags for him that he said needed to be further explored.

Rigel was especially concerned for repeated users of the product and those in higher-risk groups such as pregnant women or young children.

Girls as young as 4 years old who compete in beauty pageants are known to be spray tanned by their moms, who believe the tan to be a completely safe way to give their children a darker glow.

Rigel believes the FDA paper, combined with other literature he reviewed, would surprise many of his colleagues in the medical field. He said the papers were enough to make him change what he will tell his patients about spray tanning.

"What you showed me certainly leads me to say I have to rethink what I'm doing and what I'm saying because there's ... a real potential problem there," he said. "I feel that I must give my patients the information that you've given to me, because I think it is valid."

Following receipt of the 1999 FDA report, ABC News located nine other studies performed mostly by non-government university researchers on DHA. ABC News asked Rigel and five other medical experts to review the papers and anything else they could find on their own, and to offer their analysis about potential health risks.

Before he read all of the papers, Rigel said, he would "tell my patients what every other dermatologist tells them: 'If you want to be tanned, [tanning with DHA] is effective, it's not being absorbed and there's no long-term problems.' After reading these papers, I'm not sure that's true anymore."

"A potential problem has been identified and for public safety, more studies should be done," added Rigel, a former president of the three largest dermatological groups in the nation: the American Academy of Dermatology, the American Dermatological Association, and the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.

"The concern here is we never thought this was getting absorbed," he said. "We thought it's binding to the surface of the skin and that's where the stain is. So this is ... news that, in fact, it is penetrating beyond that."

ABC News also presented the panel of experts with information about some studies that found no carcinogenic or potential cancer-causing impacts of DHA, such as when it was tested on mice.

However, that same FDA report from the 1990s raised questions about whether some of those tests came up negative simply because the DHA never absorbed into the skin of the particular type of mice tested.

Dr. Lynn Goldman, the dean of the School of Public Health and Health Services at George Washington University, reviewed the same group of papers and said that DHA tested positive for mutating genes in far too many different types of studies to reject concerns about its health implications.

"The substance seems to have a potential for what they call creating mutations or changing DNA in living cells, which is a serious problem and needs to be further investigated, yet hasn't been," she said.

"What we're concerned about is not so much that reaction that creates the tanning, but reactions that may occur deeper down with living cells that might then change DNA, causing a mutation and what the possible impacts of that might be," she said. "I'd be very concerned for the potential of lung cancer."

Researchers should, however, not just be concerned about cancer, but other health effects such as birth defects, especially if a woman who was pregnant was spray tanning and allowing the mist to get inside her body, Goldman said.

One tanning salon employee ABC News visited undercover, the lead trainer for a large corporate chain of salons in New York, told undercover television producers that DHA is "super safe," and, "great for pregnant women," something Goldman disagreed with.

Goldman is a pediatrician appointed by President Clinton and approved by the Senate to serve in a top position at the EPA overseeing chemical safety. She has since left the position and gone back to university work. Her experience in both public health science and government gives her an unusual perspective which bridges both health and regulatory issues.

"I think a lot of people assume that because things are on the market that it means somebody has very carefully evaluated them and that they're safe," she said.

She was concerned about DHA mainly on two fronts -- firstly, because of the new information scientists have learned about DHA since it was approved for use in the 1970s. She believed the information was strong enough to warrant a full review of the product's safety that takes into account all potential health implications.

Secondly, she said, the explosion in DHA's use in spray tanning means many more people will be exposed to it in a manner that has never been subject to an FDA safety review.

"The use is expanding and it doesn't prompt a re-evaluation," she said, "and I think that's a serious problem."

Dr. Panettieri, the lung specialist, agreed.

He told ABC News he believes the dose from an individual spray tan or two is likely low enough to not have a demonstrable impact on someone's health. But he would definitely "have concerns" for those who regularly spray tan, week after week.

He was especially concerned for tanning salon workers who apply 15 to 20 spray tans a day without wearing protections, thinking the mist is "safe."

Panettieri noted that the lungs have an unusually large surface area and are built to absorb oxygen and distribute it throughout the body. They will do the same thing with chemicals like DHA that reach them, he said -- and unlike the skin, the lungs do not have a protective layer.

Panettieri's review of studies ABC News provided and his own review of published scientific papers showed that no long-term tests of DHA's effects on lungs have ever been performed.

Like Goldman, he was worried not only about cancer but also other health effects that can be caused from mutations in DNA.

"These compounds in some cells could actually promote the development of cancers or malignancies, and if that's the case then we need to be wary of them," he said. "And in this case, there are more than just [one] instance that this compound was associated with toxicity. So when you put all the evidence together, the concern exists."

Panettieri was mostly concerned about long-term exposures. He said problems might not immediately arise after shorter exposures, saying that even if large amounts of DHA were applied in a few applications to the lungs, it might not cause immediate problems.

"Frankly, right now, given the evidence I've seen, it's time to pursue this question in a more rigorous fashion and really answer: Is it safe or not?" he said.

The industry points to a ruling from 2010 by the European Commission that found DHA, as used in spray tan facilities, is safe for consumers. The European Commission provides guidance to the European Union on a variety of matters, including health.

Panettieri, Goldman and Rigel pointed to flaws and limitations they saw in the European review of DHA.

The European review took place after the cosmetics industry in Europe chose evidence for the European Commission to review, according to the commission. Because the cosmetics industry selected the evidence, nearly every report the commission's eventual opinion referenced came from studies that were never published, never peer-reviewed and, in the majority of cases, were performed by companies or industry groups linked to the manufacturing of DHA -- entities that had a financial incentive to see the chemical widely used.

Panettieri noted an additional flaw that he called "artful": The cosmetics industry, in asking the European Commission to review DHA, left out nearly all of the peer-reviewed studies published in publicly available scientific journals that identified DHA as a potential mutagen.

Goldman, through a spokeswoman, said the European report did not have all bad information but "did not contain information from peer-reviewed literature and is, therefore, not thorough."

Dr. Arthur Grollman, a toxicologist at Stony Brook University in New York, agreed, saying the European review was "flawed" and "incomplete."

Joe Levy of the International Smart Tan Network presented ABC News a critique of one of the more recently published studies that concerned experts. The study, published in the scientific journal "Mutation Research" in 2004, found that DHA as used in sunless tanners "damages DNA." Levy provided ABC News with a letter written by a Merck scientist in late May 2012 criticizing the study.

Merck is the largest manufacturer of DHA, Levy said.

In its critique of the 2004 study, a Merck toxicologist cited results of two studies performed in Merck's own laboratories that concluded DHA was safe for consumers. Those Merck studies were never peer reviewed and are not available to scientists or the public for review. When ABC News asked for a copy, Merck declined to provide them.

ABC News also asked the European Commission for a copy of the papers upon which it based its 2010 opinion. The commission responded that it generally doesn't release copies of such papers and that permission would have to be granted from the entity that asked for a review.

In America, the FDA said that no manufacturer has ever attempted to present similar evidence or go through an American safety review of DHA in spray tans.

The agency told ABC News in an email that it does not step in to stop what it calls on its website "the unapproved use" of DHA because, "FDA does not regulate the operation of commercial enterprises such as indoor or sunless tanning salons. This would be a function for OSHA or state/local public health regulators, much as for hair or nail salons. FDA has oversight responsibility for the safety of the cosmetic products and the devices [UVA light sources and beds] in the indoor tanning salons."

ABC News checked with local regulators in New York City and confirmed that no city agency regulates spray tan applications. The New York Department of Health, which regulates UV tanning, does not regulate spray tans.

Industry groups such as the International Smart Tan Network were unaware, when asked, if any state or local entity anywhere regulates spray tans.

Swift Response From a Major Tanning Salon Chain

Two of the 12 salons ABC News visited in its random undercover check belonged to the company Beach Bum Tanning, whose top trainer, Dante Fitzpatrick, said DHA was "super safe" and "great for pregnant women."

ABC News went back to Fitzpatrick and openly asked him if he believed DHA was safe to drink. He responded by taking a vial of the DHA fluid and drinking it.

Subsequently, the CEO of Beach Bum Tanning, James Oliver, contacted ABC News to say his company was taking swift and widespread steps to make sure consumers were educated about the FDA's recommendations and take all necessary safety precautions.

In response to this report, Oliver said he has now posted a sign in all of his stores informing customers of the FDA's recommendations. Beach Bum is also making a version of the sign available to hang on the walls in all sunless booth and airbrush rooms, recommending the use of protective gear while spray tanning.

A spokesman for a Washington, D.C.-based public relations firm told ABC News it also prepared an email that was to be sent out to Beach Bum's entire customer base saying the same.

In addition, Beach Bum has since posted the recommendations on its Facebook page, where it estimates 9,000 people may have seen it.

"We, at Beach Bum Tanning, are always striving to promote both customer and employee safety in the use of both UV and spray tanning equipment," Oliver wrote in a statement. "As products and research evolve, it sometimes becomes necessary to revise and update our policies and customer standards. Although we have always made eyewear, nose guards and lip balm available to every sunless booth and airbrush tanning customer, effective immediately we are taking the following steps to better inform our customers on the FDA guidelines:

"We have already started ...
-- making available a copy of FDA Guidelines to all customers using sunless equipment
 -- posting signs in every room stating 'As per FDA guidelines, we recommend the use of protective eyewear, nose plugs and lip balm during every sunless tanning session.'
-- updating our website to include the FDA recommendations on all pertinent pages: Sunless Booth page, Airbrush tanning page and Airbrush FAQ's;
-- retraining our staff to more actively recommend the protective gear.

"We know that our actions go above and beyond the FDA recommendations," Oliver wrote, "but we feel, in light of the unknown effects of the DHA mist, it is in everyone's best interest to take these proactive steps."

Oliver later told ABC News he is also purchasing new top-of-the-line industrial fans for his salons that will remove as much of the DHA from the air as soon as possible after application. He said that was intended to provide the safest possible experience for consumers who wish to continue to spray tan.

He said that would make using salons such as his safer than using at-home products that can be purchased over the counter and applied by consumers in a closed-in shower.

ABC News' Teri Whitcraft and Mollie Riegger, and former medical residents Murtaza Akhter and Rishi Sharma, contributed to this report.

Our panel of six experts included Dr. Arthur Grollman of Stony Brook University, Dr. Lynn Goldman of George Washington University, Dr. Rey Panettieri of the Univ. of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, dr. Fred Guengerich of Vanderbilt University, and Dr. Darrel Rigel of NYU.Are 'Spray-On' Tans Safe?

Advertise with us!

Related Stories

  • WTVC :: Community - The Good Life

    The Good Life

    Celebrating the events, adventures and activities that represent "The Good Life" in the NewsChannel 9 viewing area.
  • WTVC :: Community - Sideroads


    Take a ride with Brian Smith to explore the unique people and places to be found along the Sideroads of the NewsChannel 9 viewing area.
  • WTVC :: Community - Road Trippin

    Road Trippin

    Come Road Trippin' with us and see all the great sites in your area!
  • WTVC :: Community - Closings and Delays

    Closings and Delays

    These are the latest School and Business Closings reported to NewsChannel 9. If you see errors or need to add a school or business, call 423-757-7320.
  • WTVC :: Community - This N That

    This N That

    Learn about the latest in community affairs and great events with Brian Smith on This 'N That.
  • WTVC :: Community - Educator of the Week

    Educator of the Week

    Nominate now for Educator Of The Week!
  • WTVC :: Community - Wednesday's Child

    Wednesday's Child

  • WTVC :: Community - Deaf & Hard of Hearing

    Deaf & Hard of Hearing

    Information provided to NewsChannel 9 by members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community.
  • WTVC :: Community - Community Calendar

    Community Calendar

  • WTVC :: Community - Photo Galleries

    Photo Galleries

  • WTVC :: Community - Sponsored Events

    Sponsored Events

    Check Back Often for NewsChannel9 Sponsored Events!

News - Top Health Stories

Ebola: the Latest on the Search for the Cure

Doctors Explain Cause of Death For Catoosa Co. Boy

Ebola 'Poses No Threat to Others,' Mayor Assures New York

New York Doctor Tests Positive For Ebola

CDC to Monitor All Travelers from Ebola-Affected Countries for 3 Days

Ebola Update: New U.S. Airport Screenings, Spanish Nurse Recovers, Vaccine Planned for January Release in Africa

Ebola: the Latest on the Search for the Cure

Dallas Ebola Watch Clears First Group Quarantined

Hutcheson Medical Center Awarded Accreditation from the Joint Commission

Ebola Vs. Flu: Do you know the difference?

BREAKING: 2nd TX Health Care Worker Diagnosed with Ebola Flew on a Plane the Day Before Diagnosis

Hospital Supporters Launch

World Health Organization Forecasts 10,000 New Cases per Week from Ebola in Two Months

Riverview Shops to Host Fundraiser for MaryEllen Locher Breast Center

How to Tell If Your Child Has Enterovirus

US Journalist Believes He Got Ebola While Cleaning Infected Car

Breast Cancer: A Man's Survival Story

Minority Women and Breast Cancer

Officials Confirm First Ebola Case Diagnosed in US

Erlanger East to Expand to Full Service Hospital

Line-up Begins at Midnight Friday for Free Medical Clinic in Ooltewah

Study: Artificial Sweeteners May Promote Diabetes

Report Finds Most New Cancer Drugs Target DNA

Study Finds Secret to Lasting Marriage Is a Happy Wife

Green Juice: Healthy, or Not So Much?

Single Mom Shares Story of Being Pregnant at 51

Children Most Affected by Virus Outbreak

Ebola Victim Breaks Her Silence:

101 and Staying Healthy, Going Strong

Erlanger Launches Mobile Heart Screening Center

Ice Bucket Challenge Brings Awareness to ALS

Women Keeping 'Botox Secret' From Husbands

Memorial Surgeons First in Area to Use New Breakthrough Procedure

American Doctor With Ebola Got Experimental Antibody Serum Before U.S. Arrival

Bipartisan Deal to Reform VA Includes New Clinic in Chattanooga

Health Officials Scramble to Contain Ebola Outbreak

Family of Deaf Couple Sues Erlanger Hospital

Hopkins Settles Pelvic Exam Suits for $190 Million

Local Hospital Ranked Highly by Magazine

Erlanger Receives $1 M Innovation Award from BlueCross

CDC Mishaps Could Have Been Deadly

Got a Rash? Your iPad Could be to Blame

Is Your Blood O Negative? Join the 6 Percent Club

Olympic Runner Criticized for Training While Pregnant

New TN Law Lets Public Break Windows to Get Kids out of a Hot Car

Medical Panel Suggests Yearly Pap Exams Unnecessary

Memorial to Open Urgent Care Center in Cleveland.

Panel: Flu Spray Better Than Flu Shot

Susan G. Komen Race Turns 15

Free HIV Testing June 26-28

Community Health Center Gets $12,000 Grant

New 'Breast Density' Law Goes Into Effect in TN July 1

Memorail Named Top 100 Great Community Hospital

Memorial Announces Board of Directors for 2014-2015

Woman Videotapes Herself Having a Stroke

Hamilton County Health Officials: Protect Yourself from Chikungunya

Local Health Dept. Urges HPV Vaccinations

Study: Breast Cancer Tests Increase Survival Rate by 30 Percent

FDA Poised to Reduce Salt in Your Food

Teams are forming now for the 2014 Cleveland Heart Walk

Hutcheson Announces Management Team Changes

Life Care Center of East Ridge Grows Neuro-Rehab Specialty Program

Lee University School of Nursing Set to Open in Fall

Study: Teens Are Drinking Less, Texting More

Another Infant Dies in (Recalled) 'Nap Nanny' Incident

Memorial Hospital Names New Heart and Vascular Center

Detection Easy as

Blood Assurance Announces June Blood Drives

Celebrity Summer Slim Down Tips

Veterans Affairs Head Shinseki Resigns Amid VA Controversy

Apison Elementary Educators Get Emergency Training

Protection From Life-Threatening Concussions

Blood Assurance Benefit This Weekend

T.C. Thompson Seeks Support in 'Battle of the Brave'

Local Surgeon And Family on The Doctors TV Show

Erlanger Receives Advertising Awards

Rain or Shine, Chattanooga Pulls Together for March for Babies

Study Finds Pregnancy Tied to Car Crash Risk

Parkridge West Hospital Appoints Emergency Department Director

GMA's Amy Robach 'Kicking Cancer's Butt'

FDA Moving to Regulate E-cigs

Grandview Medical Center in Jasper to Become Parkridge West Hospital

Epilepsy Specialist Joins UT Erlanger Neurology Group

Alzheimer’s Association Support Group Coming to Rhea County

Don Mackler, MD Joins Hutcheson Gastroenterology

UK Scientists Make Body Parts in Lab

Poll Reveals Little Faith in New Healthcare Plan

Area Rite Aids Raising Funds for Children’s Hospital

Rearview Cameras to be Required in New Vehicles

Honorees Announced for 2014 Annual Doctors’ Day Salute

TWC Students Provide Health Care in Costa Rica

'Dash for DS' with Lila and Latricia

Pink! Nets $250,000 for MaryEllen Locher Breast Center

Time Changes Sunday, Quick Tips to Adjust Your Body Clock

Parkridge East Hosts 'Mommy To Bee' Maternity Event

Erlanger and Children’s Hospital Partner with the TN Dept. of Health to Reduce Infant Deaths

Chattanooga Mental Health Facility Pays Penalty for False Claims

CDC: Cruise Ship Bug is Newer Norovirus Strain

CVS to Halt Tobacco Sales

Well-known Erlanger Physician Dies

Erlanger Welcomes OrthoSouth to the UT Erlanger Health Network

HCA Buys Grandview Medical Center

Hamilton County 911 Employees of the Year

Two Flu-related Deaths Confirmed in North Georgia

Ways to Get Fit in 2014

Erlanger Rings in the New Year with First Babies

Flu Shots Encouraged, Free for the Uninsured

Family 411: Holiday Adoptions

New VA Clinics Coming to Region

E-Cigarettes Become Popular Holiday Gifts

Young Man With Downs Accepted to College

Expectant Mothers React to Hutcheson Changes

Memorial Welcomes New Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Robert Bowers is TMA Public Health Champion

Coming Clean About Anti-Bacterial Soap

DCS says It's Doing Better Job Reporting Child Deaths

Henry Family Donates $104,000 to Memorial Foundation

ABC News' Amy Robach Reveals Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Is Football Glory Worth Potential Brain Damage?

FDA to Ban Artery-clogging Trans Fats

Sebelius: Couple of Hundred Website Fixes Required

Carol Sim Named as President and CEO of Siskin Hospital

New Homeless Health Care Clinic Set to Open November 4

Study Finds Long-Term Effects from Spanking Children

Donations South to Aid I-40 Crash Victims

North Georgia Woman Hits Lottery for Third Time

Salmonella Warning Across the Country

A Survivor's Message

More Drug Dependent Newborns in Tennessee

Parkridge East Hosts 'Mommy To Bee' Event, Nov. 2

Affordable Care Act Exchanges Open, Information Session in Chattanooga

Alternative Music Festival in Cleveland Raises Funds for Children's Hospital

Your Health - Is There an App For That?

Color Run raises $7,000 for Children's Hospital

Getting Healthcare for Kids

Three New West Nile Virus Cases in Tennessee

Powerful Story to be Told by Young mother and Stroke Survivor

U.S. One of Last Holdouts for Paid Maternity Leave

New Hamilton County Emergency Service Station Opens

Will Affordable Healthcare Really be Affordable?

Lung Transplant Girl Goes Home

Sheraton Read House Hosts 'Historic' Event for Children’s Hospital

Dr. Jeremy Bruce Joins Parkridge Medical Center Staff

MaryEllen Locher Breast Center Hosts Book Signing

A Closer Look at Healthcare Reform

Gov. Haslam Promoting Healthier Tennessee

Consumer Reports Rates Local Hospitals

Dr. Bill Moore Smith Tapped for Leadership Role at Erlanger

GOP Senator Calls Obamacare a 'Train Wreck'

Dr. Alexander Roberts Joins Staff of Parkridge Medical Center

Down Syndrome Awareness Night at the Lookouts

Erlanger Recognized by U.S. News & World Report

Memorial Hospital Names Hospital Presidents

Family Donates to Children's Hospital in Daughter's Memory

Memorial Hospital Announces 2013-2014 Board of Directors

Tammy Pietrzak Joins Parkridge Valley as ACNO/COO

Erlanger Opens New Urgent Care

Color Run Raises Funds for Children's Hospital

High School Grad Raises $19,000 for Children's Hospital

Hyundai 'Hope on Wheels' Donates $75,000 to Children's Hospital.

National HIV Testing Day is June 27

Parkridge Medical Center Receives Blue Distinction Center Designation for Quality

Julie Taylor Named Chief Development Officer for Erlanger Foundations

9th Southeastern Wilderness Medicine Conference June 22-26

Riverbend Expands Smoke-free Zone

Grammy-Nominated Trio Wilson Phillips to Headline StarNight 2013

Widespread Support for Angelina

Actress, Celebrity Angelina Jolie had Double Mastectomy

Free 5-minute Online Assessment for Hepatitis Could Save Your Life.

Dragon Boat Festival Raises $230,000

Ochs Center Releases 'Sobering' Report of Area Health

Wine and Pearls 2013 Raises Nearly $42,000 for Cancer Support

Italian Study: Pizza Reduces Cancer Risk

Belk Offering Free Mammograms

Measures to Protect Tenn. High School, College Students

Parkridge East Hospital Appoints Morgan As Director of Surgical Services

Parkridge East Hospital offers Cardiac and Vascular Screening, May 7

Graphic Anti-Smoking Billboard Draws Attention

Peyton Donates $500,000 to Pat Summitt Foundation

SunTrust Foundation Awards $25,000 to The Next Door Chattanooga

Drs. Caine & Ruffner, Hamilton County Project Access Win Awards

Tenn. Governor Says 'No' to Medicaid Expansion

Chicks and Ducks Are Cute, but Not for Easter

Schools Closing Due to Illness

GPS and McCallie Fight Cancer Together

Chattanooga'™s 'œRump Run' 5K Promotes Colon Cancer Awareness

Erlanger Opens New Gunbarrel Rd. Facility

Parkridge Sleep Center Offers Tips for Daylight Saving Time

Possible Breakthrough HIV Cure

Choking Prevention for Children

Pink! Nets $325,000

Parkridge Presents Wine and Pearls

Rapid HIV Testing Offered in Dalton

Memorial Hospital Receives Cardiology Award

Gunshot Victim Making a Difference at Life Care Center of Red Bank

Memphis Hospital CEO Chosen to Run Erlanger

Ringling Bros. Clowns Visit Children's Hospital

New Parkridge Medical Center Cardiac Recovery Unit Opens Thursday

Memorial's Mobile Mammography Coach to Visit Belk at Hamilton Place

Medicaid Questions and Answers

Four People Exposed to Rabid Llama in North Georgia

Life Care Center of Red Bank earns company’s Gold rehab standard

January is National Blood Donor Month

Parkridge Welcomes It's 1st Baby of 2013

TennCare Doctors Will See Reimbursement Boost

Hamilton Co. Schools Collecting TennCare Money

Athens Residents Save With Prescription Plan

Cure Kids Cancer Radiothon raises $125,000 in pledges and donations

Erlanger stroke services receive American Heart Association’s Gold Plus Award

Hixson Flight Museum donates $1,000 to Children€'s Hospital

Gov. Haslam Turns Down Federal Healthcare Exchange

TVA Board Delegates Authority to CEO

Alcohol Won't Keep You Warm

Sunny 92.3 hosts 6th Annual Cure Kids Cancer Radiothon

County Health Clinics Offering Free Flu Vaccines

Georgia Company Recalls Chicken

Health Warning on New Round of Meningitis Concerns

Tenn. residents get doctor by phone

Memorial Awarded an 'A' for Patient Safety

Bike Chattanooga celebrates 1M calories burned

100% of LIFE FORCE Flight Nurses and Paramedics Board Certified

Memorial and United Healthcare Reach New Agreement

Pulmonologist Tim Ashburn, MD Joins Hutcheson Medical Center

Memorial Foundation Announces Buz Standefer Lung Center

Erlanger Celebrates Halloween

Whitfield Residents Exposed to Rabies from Pet Cat

Parkridge East Announces Prenatal Classes For November – December

Spine Surgery Associates Joins Parkridge Medical Group

EPA Removing Lead Pollution from Yards of Southside Homes

Chattanooga Oncology to Merge with Larger Group

Costco Donates $26,000 to Erlanger

Chattanooga Doctor Saves Man at Denver Convention

Parkridge Establishes Center for Robotic Surgery

49 Cases of Fungal Meningitis in Tennessee

Meningitis Outbreak Spreading, 5 Deaths

2 Dead From Middle TN Meningitis Outbreak

Chattanooga, Cleveland Firefighters Win Top Honors in State Competition

Dr. Bill Moore Smith Earns Distinction

Health Officials to Begin 'Rabies Vaccine Drop'

Painted Bras To Benefit MaryEllen Locher Center

Chattanooga MoonPie Bakery Issues Voluntary Recall

Rabid Raccoon Found in North Georgia

HCA - Parkridge Fined $16.5 Million

Soddy Daisy Teen Receives Youth Volunteer Award

Dr. Creel Becomes Erlanger CMO

Kellie Pickler Shaves Her Head

Flu Shots Available in North Georgia

Good News for Erlanger at Hutcheson

Annual Erlanger Day at Chattanooga Market

Thousands Of Care Bears Pacifiers Recalled

Children'€™s Hospital Therapy Services now offered at Erlanger North

Health officials Warn of Tainted Canteloupe

Popular Bumbo Infant Floor Seat Recalled

Tennessee Nursing Job Market More Competitive

Tenn. Health Dept. Issues MRSA Warning

Memorial, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee Negotiations Stall

Erlanger named one of America’s Top Hospitals by U.S. News and World Report

Time for Back to School Immunizations

Haslam Says Tenn. on Track if Health Care Upheld

Siskin Expands Center for Developmental Pediatrics

What is the Best Sunscreen?

Officials Issue Blood Plea Due to Summer Demand

Erlanger Helps Raise Money For Food Bank

CDC: Motorcycle Helmet Laws Reduce Deaths

Are 'Spray-On' Tans Safe?

Memorial's Mobile Mammography Coach to Visit Bledsoe Fairgrounds

ABC's Robin Roberts Battling Myelodysplastic Syndrome or MDS

HealthSouth to Break Ground on Expansion

Erlanger at Hutcheson Names Chief Medical Officer

Erlanger at Hutcheson Earns ACR Accreditations

Miller Plaza Declared 'Smoke Free'

Tick-borne Disease Spreading in Tennessee

Parkridge Valley Counselor Offers Summertime Tips for Families with Kids

Tennessee's Dental Health Among Worst in Nation

Woman Battles Flesh-eating Bacteria

Free Self-Defense Class for Women in Dalton

Dalton PD Makes Special Effort to Protect Kids for Prom Week

Families Dealing With Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Parents: Beware of Bottle Bombs

Tennessee Getting $5 Million More in Settlement

Tenn. House passes health care compact measure

Advertise with us!

Business News

US economy grew at 3.5 percent rate in Q3

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. economy grew at a solid annual rate of 3.5 percent in the July-September quarter, propelled by solid gains in business investment, export sales and the biggest jump in military spending in five years.

Consumer Info

   WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- (Marketwired) -- 03/21/14 --
 Companies that pride themselves on being eco-friendly may have conflicted
 ideas between marketing with ad specialties and maintaining their green
 reputation. ...

Entertainment News


NEW YORK (AP) -- The actress who played the secretary to Frank Underwood in "House of Cards" has died.

Get This


WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) -- President Barack Obama figures into a love triangle -- but not in THAT way.

Science/Tech News


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House is declining to comment on a published report that Russia is believed to be behind a suspected attack on computer systems at the Executive Mansion.


Tonight on WTVC NewsChannel 9

6:00 NewChannel 9 

6:30 ABC World News Tonight

7:00 Wheel of Fortune

7:30 Jeopardy 

8:00 Grey's Anatomy

9:00 Scandal

10:00 How to Get Away With Murder

11:00 NewsChannel 9 

11:35 Jimmy Kimmel Live

Complete Schedule »

Storm Track 9 Weather App
No Text Zone
Pay It Forward