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Manicure lights can damage DNA and lead to cancer, study claims

January 19, 2023  17:16

Ultraviolet light from manicure lamps can damage human cell DNA and increase the risk of cancer, say researchers from the University of California, San Diego and the University of Pittsburgh in the United States.  The researchers' study was published in Nature Communications.

Nail polish curing lights use ultraviolet (UV) rays, which cause skin cancer with frequent exposure.

Scientists decided to test what effects the use of such lamps has on the molecular and cellular level. They found that 20 to 30 percent of mouse and human cells died after two 20-minute sessions in the drying lamp. The cells that survived the exposure showed signs of DNA damage and mutations associated with skin cancer.

When manicured, human fingers are in the lamp for a total of about 10 minutes, meaning the exposure in the study was extreme compared to the real thing.

While these results do not provide direct evidence of an increased risk of cancer, they do indicate that it may exist. Independent epidemiological studies, which could take at least a decade, are needed to assess the real risk. For now, the choice and weighing of risks is left to customers.

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