Three Experts Rebut Claims that UV Nail Lamps are Unsafe for Skin
Doug Schoon, M.S. Chemistry, Chief Scientific Advisor, CND; Paul Bryson, Ph.D. Chemistry, Director of R&D, OPI Products; Jim McConnell, BA Chemistry, President, McConnell Labs
A recent report incorrectly claimed that UV nail lamps are a source of "high-dose UV-A" and also inaccurately compared UV tanning beds with UV nail lamps. The report, "Occurrence of Nonmelanoma Skin Cancers on the Hands After UV Nail Light Exposure" (MacFarlane and Alonso) 1 , overestimated the exposure of client skin to UV light emitted from UV nail lamps and improperly characterized the effect of these lamps on the hand.
As three of the leading scientists in the professional nail industry, we were surprised by these claims. To verify the facts, using an independent laboratory we tested the leading UV nail lamps to determine how much UV-A and UV-B they emit and then compared that to natural sunlight.
In preparation for our study, we tested many UV nail lamps to determine which had the highest UV output and, as expected, found the nail lamp with the highest output was one designed to utilize four 9-watt UV bulbs. We also decided to test a popular UV nail lamp designed to utilize two 9-watt UV bulbs. The purpose for testing both lamps was to determine how exposures vary across the range of UV nail lamps with the goal of providing information that would apply to the majority of salons and situations. The selected two bulb UV nail lamp was chosen and tested because it is a popular brand and representative of other UV nail lamps within the two 9-watt UV bulb category. The selected four 9-watt UV bulb nail lamp was chosen because it had the highest measured UV output of any UV nail lamp tested. No attempt was made to test UV nail lamps utilizing only one UV bulb, since the overwhelming majority of UV nail lamps use two, three or four UV bulbs. The UV nail lamps selected for testing are likely representative of more than 90% of the UV nail lamps used in salons.
Lighting Science, Inc., of Phoenix, AZ., is a fully equipped, completely independent scientific testing laboratory that specializes in the development and testing of many types of illumination devices, including those that emit UV light and Lighting Science is not in the business of