Lit from Within: Are Nail UV Lamps Safe?
-->

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Are Nail UV Lamps Safe?

Hello, Fireflies!

Today, I have something a little different for you.  What follows is an article written by Karen New, of Spa Touch, LLC.  She has offered this article to educate consumers about UV Lamps in the nail industry.  I was not compensated for this post; I met Karen at a Beauty Bloggers meeting where she introduced us to IBX, and I think this message is important.

If you have any questions or concerns about the safety of UV lamps, please read on!


Karen New, owner of Spa Touch, LLC.

Recently, the press has again commented on the safety of UV lamps in the nail industry, and this puts fear into consumers as to how safe nail services are. I am a licensed Florida nail specialist and have been in the nail industry for over 18 years, and I do stay up on everything that the media puts out and how it affects my clients. Gel polishes have been around for over seven years; gel enhancements and gel topcoats have been around for 30 years.
First, let me tell you a little bit about gel products and how the UV lamp enters into the picture.  Gel and acrylic start out in the same family chemically, and after processing they become different.  Application of each product is different, and needs a different type of catalyst to allow it to cure and become hard. This is where the UV light comes into play.  The light emits UVA rays that cause the product to become hard when it is exposed to them. Yes, sunlight can start the curing process, but it is not enough to completely cure it all the way.

There are two styles of lamps: UV, which uses fluorescent tubes to produce UV light, and an LED, which uses LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs. UV is divided into three types: UVA, UVB, and UVC, categorized by the wave lengths found in sunlight. Nail salon lamps only emit tiny amounts of UVA, and not even all of the 85 different wavelengths contained in UVA. LED style lamps have higher intensities of wavelengths that cure at a much faster rate, meaning less time in the lamp. Not all product manufacturers have their product cured with an LED, and some use both UV and LED lamps. UV lamps have been used in the nail industry for over 30 years; but with the recent explosion of gel polishes, lamps have come under fire for the possible link to skin cancer.


Reuters, CBS News, The Today Show, The Washington Post, and even Dr. Oz have all come out with studies and experts that say nail lamps may cause non-melanoma cancer. Reuters is quoted as saying, "The ultraviolet lamps used in some nail salons today to cure nail polish deliver the same hazardous rays as tanning beds."  According to the American Cancer Society, natural sunlight and tanning beds give harmful rays as do the small lamps used in nail salons to speed up drying. The JAMA studies show danger from the nail lamps but their results have flaws. 

 
The Nail Manufacturers Council published a report evaluating UV nail lamps in the Spring 2013 issue of Photochemistry and Photobiology, written by Drs. Robert Sayer and John C Dowdy, the co-inventors of the SPF rating system for sunscreen. They set out to find whether traditional UV or LED nail lamps produce excessive amounts of UV.  Several important conclusions were reached: lamps exceeded safety expectations; they were found to be less harmful than expected by others.  They also found that UV exposure in nail salons is so low that a person could put their hands under the lamps for 25 minutes a day without exceeding international safe limits for daily workplace exposure. They also concluded that the risk of getting non-melanoma skin cancer was 11 to 46 times lower for the nail lamp than being in the sunlight daily. 

Drs. Sayer and Dowdy did conclude, however, that if you take medication that requires you to stay out of the sun, you should use proper protection. Also, make sure that the lamps are in proper working order, as incorrect bulb placement or poor lamp maintenance could be harmful to the skin. Doug Schoon, a leading nail industry chemist and a board member of the Nail Manufacturers Council, stated that you cannot come to a conclusion about nail lamps by comparing them to tanning beds -  they are two different entities. Web MD states on their website that "nail lamps are safe for over 250 years of weekly manicures." Currently, humans do not live long enough to be exposed to that many manicures. If you still feel that the UV or LED lamps could cause an issue with your skin, there are precautions that you can take: 1. Cover your hands and arms with small pieces of cloth while they are in the lamp. 2. Use an SPF 15+ broad-spectrum sun screen (clients must wash hands before application for sanitation purposes.) 3. Wear gloves with the tips cut out to expose only the nail bed only.


Karen New
Spa Touch, LLC
1008 Webster Avenue
Orlando Florida 32804
407.523.5088 or 407.432.3712 text
Karen@spatouch1.com
Http://www.spatouch1.com

24 comments:

  1. This was interesting to read. I've never tried them before myself.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Super interesting read. I had heard the gel lamps can cause cancer, but this really helped open my eyes. Very informative and those gloves look interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I saw a nail veil! Really great article.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very informative, thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The gloves are a great idea. Also doubling up with sunscreen!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for sharing, I learned a lot!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Super informative post, I have always wondered about this stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  8. It's a very controversial topic but as someone who has had non-melanoma skin cancer and got it far earlier in life than someone ever should, I just prefer to stay on the side of caution and apply sunscreen before use. Even if I didn't have the high risk of skin cancer, I would do it anyway because aging hands scare me.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Very interesting post! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  10. THANK YOU! Thank you for this post. I am so annoyed by the fear mongering in the cosmetics industry and the non factual claims made. I am sharing this article with my readers and friend so they too know that UV Lamps for gel nails are not a huge concern. And like you said. One can apply sunscreen prior to using the lamps if they are THAT concerned!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I agree with what's been published, it is a lot of fear mongering to an extent and if in doubt, apply sunscreen to protect. Thanks for such an informative and factual post!

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is so informative! I agree with Pink Sith - I hate the fear mongering and the exaggeration of risk in the industry!! And I love that you showed the gloves, I've heard great things and I think they go a long way to comfort those who might be scared no matter the science!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Such a fantastic post! Also, do you even science LMAO I'm dying

    ReplyDelete
  14. There's a lot of misinformation out there regarding the UV exposure, thank you for clearing it up and also giving suggestions to help protect ourselves!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks for the info! I haven't used UV lamps, so I don't really know much about them.

    ReplyDelete
  16. What an interesting article. Very good information was presented here.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I hate that I didn't get enough time to chat with her!

    ReplyDelete
  18. very cool! Interesting that you used a glove!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your comments! They mean so much to me, and I read all of them, even if I don't always have a chance to respond.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...