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New Study Finds UV Lamps Pose No Skin Cancer Risk

Anne Moratto | August 28, 2013 | 10:51 AM

A study published in the Spring 2013 issue of Photochemistry and Photobiology , "Photobiological Safety Evaluation of UV Nail Lamps," co-authored by Drs. John C. Dowdy and by Robert Sayre, co-inventor of the SPF rating system for sunscreens, set out to determine if traditional fluorescent and LED-type nail lamps produce excess amounts of UV and increase the risk of skin cancer. The researchers reached several important conclusions about skin safety.

First, Dowdy and Sayre found that UV nail lamps exceeded safety expectations. These lamps were found to be significantly less hazardous than expected based on the initial concerns raised by others. The researchers found that UV exposure is so low that a person could put her hands under a nail lamp for 25 minutes a day without exceeding the internationally accepted safe limits for daily workplace UV exposure. Typical nail salon exposures, i.e., less than ten minutes per hand performed on average only twice per month or less, are well within the limits of permissible daily UV exposure.

The researchers also concluded that the risk of developing non-melanoma skin cancer was 11-46 times lower than the risks of being exposed to noonday natural sunlight. The data showed that UV nail lamps were safer than both natural sunlight and sunlamps.

The study also mentions two considerations for safe UV nail lamp use. Customers who are taking medication that requires them to avoid natural sunlight without proper protection should be cautious when using UV nail lamps. Also, incorrect bulb replacement and lamp maintenance could be harmful to the skin.

Overall, Dowdy and Sayre's findings support the earlier research reported in an independent Lighting Sciences study and in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, concluding that UV nail lamps are safe and do not cause or increase the risk of cancer.

For complete coverage of the latest UV nail lamp study, please visit: http://www.probeauty.org/nmc.

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