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Nail salon UV lamps: Are they safe?

A typical salon manicure involves drying freshly painted nails under a lamp that emits ultraviolet-A (UV-A) rays -- a spectrum of light long linked to skin cancers. But a new study suggests that the average visit to a nail salon carries little carcinogenic potential. "Considering the low UV-A energy exposure in an average manicure visit, multiple visits would be required to reach the threshold for potential DNA damage" that might spur cancer, wrote a team reporting their findings April 30 in JAMA Dermatology. In the study, researchers led by Dr. Lyndsay Shipp of the department of dermatology at Georgia Regents University, in Augusta, say that prior studies into the use of UV-emitting nail polish drying lamps have not had sufficient rigor to come to any reliable conclusions.

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