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Your clients have questions about the safety of UV lights, and now you have definite answers to calm their fears. A previous study that shed negative light on UV lamps was the impetus for three well-known industry experts—Doug Schoon, chief scientific adviser at CND; Paul Bryson, director of research and development at OPI Products; and Jim McConnell, president of McConnell Labs—to conduct another study. Their results rebutted the findings from Occurrence of Nonmelanoma Skin Cancers on the Hands After UV Nail Light Exposure by D.F. MacFarlane and C.A. Alonso, Departments of Dermatology and Plastic Surgery, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.
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“The MacFarlane-Alonso report was premised on the erroneous assumption that the concentration of light produced by UV nail lamps is similar to that of tanning beds,” Schoon reveals. “In reality, UV nail lamps emit much lower concentrations. The McFarlane-Alonso observations also did not take into consideration factors such as total time spent under each type of lamp, energy use versus UV exposure and the multiple reflections of light within the tanning bed that adds to UV exposure.” Schoon, Bryson and McConnell tested two UV lamps for their study, Do UV Nail Lamps Emit Unsafe Levels of Ultraviolet Light? One lamp had two 9-watt bulbs and the other had four 9-watt bulbs. The study utilized the longest period of exposure for which clients with UV gel nail applications or maintenance services would have their hands under the light: 10 minutes per hand. The results? The new study states: “UV nail lamps emit relatively low levels of UV light and these exposure levels are considered well within safe levels when they are used to perform UV artificial nail services in nail salons.” For your clients who are still worried about the effects, Schoon, Bryson and McConnell recommend that you place a small piece of white cloth over their hands before placing them under the UV nail lamp. If a client is worried enough to wear sunscreen on her hands, ask her to wash it off to prevent service breakdown from the sunscreen’s film on the nails, and keep sunscreen lotions and sprays away from your station to prevent contamination.