Studies have shown that UV dryers used to dry nail polish can lead to cancerous cell mutations.
UV light can kill cells and cause mutations typically seen in skin cancer.
The study published in nature communications analyzed cells in two different conditions of UV exposure.
Cells with acute exposure had two 20-minute sessions under the UV dryers with an hour break in between. Cells with chronic exposure had one 20-minute session under the UV dryers for three consecutive days.
Researchers found that one 20-minute exposure to the UV dryers resulted in 20 to 30% cell death, while three consecutive 20-minute sessions resulted in 65 to 70% cell death.
In the remaining cells, the exposure resulted in mutations that are typically seen in skin cancer.
The possible harmful effects of nail polish dryers have not been studied, despite the devices using a different spectrum of UV light.
“If you look at how these devices are presented, they are marketed as safe, with nothing to be concerned about,” Alexandrov explained. “But to the best of our knowledge, no one has actually studied these devices and how they affect human cells at the molecular and cellular levels until now.”
Study authors noted that many cases of rare cancers developing in fingers were from people who frequently get gel manicures using UV-nail polish dryers, like pageant contestants and estheticians.