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UV (ultraviolet) light has been widely used for curing artificial nail products over the past 25 years. UV nail lamps should really be called UVA nail lamps, because they are designed to produce UVA light, the safer form of UV light.
A typical UVA bulb for nail lamps has a lower UVA intensity than sunlight. Even so, these lamps are covered to protect your eyes. Clients need not worry since their hands are only exposed for short periods. UV nail lamps have a long history of safe use.
All UV gels solidify after they reach 50-55 per cent cure. Just because they have hardened and look cured, it doesn’t mean they’re “properly cured”. Undercured UV gel nails will be prone to staining, discoloration, lifting, breakage and increased risk for clients to develop product-related allergies. For example, if a client complains of nail beds that feel “warm” hours after the service or underneath the nail plate feels “itchy” or if the nail plate is partially separated from the nail bed, these are all possible signs of a developing skin allergy. Undercured dusts and inhibition layers are more likely to cause skin allergy; as always, direct skin contact with both should be avoided.
The exposure time of your hands to UV light during the service will range from 10 minutes to maybe 15 minutes (one hand at a time). This exposure is experienced every two to three weeks.
The average teenager works, tans, plays in the sunshine for hours a day, (hopefully) 7 days a week, mostly during the summer months when the UV intensity is at its peak. The UV light intensity is the summer in WY is similar to the UV light intensity inside the curing light.
We could compare the UV light exposure for an entire year in the gel light as being comparable to 32 to 49 hours of UV light exposure to the hands (two hands combined). This would translate to about two weeks of play, 7 days a week, 2 hours each day. Are the doctors advising you to not go outside during summer time to get some exercise? Of course not, because it is healthy for you to get your exercise.
How about going outside to fish? Let’s take the effect of the water’s reflective properties on the skin, nearly doubling the UV light exposure to a fisherman. Are they going to start advising people to stop fishing? I sure hope not. The last time I fished, I was on the water for 6 hours in Florida. That is similar to having my hands in the UV gel light for 10 hours continuously. What would the doctors say about that???
People will regularly bake in UV tanning beds, go to the beach and picnic under the sun, but there now afraid of a UV nail lamp that put out the very little UV light? When I was a teenager I had a black light poster in my room to light up my glow-in-the-dark Jimi Hendrix poster. That single bulb exposed me to more UV light in a week than [nail] clients are exposed to in a year.
Here are the facts, fluorescent lights office lights put out a tiny amount of UV light. [During] UV nail related salon services, your clients will be exposed to more UV light from fluorescent bulbs in an office setting than during the salon service. If they go outdoors at all during the day, their UV exposure skyrockets. UV nail lamps are not significant source of UV exposure. To date, I've not seen any scientific evidence to the contrary and there is no credible scientific information that suggests these lamps are anything but safe.
(This article was reproduced from excepts of articles written by By Doug Schoon, Chief Scientific Advisor, Creative Nail Design and information from Jim McConnell, Chemist Light Elegance Nails)