In cells, nail polish dryers that emit UV rays damage DNA and cause mutations – ScienceDaily

UV nail dryers used to cure gel polish may pose a greater public health concern than previously thought. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, studied ultraviolet light-emitting devices, and found that their use leads to cell death and cancer-causing mutations in human cells.

The devices are a common fixture in nail salons, and generally use a specific range of UV light (340-395 nm) to cure the chemicals used in nail polish. While tanning beds use a different spectrum of UV light (280-400nm) that studies have definitively shown to be carcinogenic, the spectrum used in nail dryers has not been well studied.

“If you look at the way these devices are presented, they are marketed as safe, and there is nothing to worry about,” said Ludmil Alexandrov, a professor of bioengineering and cellular and molecular medicine at the University of California, San Diego. The study was published January XX in Nature Communications. “But as far as we know, no one has really studied these devices and how they affect human cells at the molecular and cellular levels yet.”

Using three different cell lines—adult human skin keratinocytes, human foreskin fibroblasts, and mouse embryonic fibroblasts—the researchers found that using these UV-emitting devices for just one 20-minute session resulted in 20 to 30 percent more cell death. per cent, while three consecutive 20-min exposures caused death between 65 and 70 per cent of the exposed cells.

Exposure to UV light also damaged mitochondria and DNA in the remaining cells and resulted in mutations in patterns observable in human skin cancers.

“We saw multiple things: First, we saw that DNA gets damaged,” Alexandrov said. “We’ve also seen that some DNA damage doesn’t repair over time, and it actually leads to mutations after each UV nail dryer exposure. Finally, we saw that exposure can cause mitochondrial dysfunction, which can also lead to Additional mutations: We examined patients with melanomas, and we see exactly the same patterns of mutations in these patients that were seen in the irradiated cells.

The researchers cautioned that while the results show the harmful effects of frequent use of these devices on human cells, a long-term epidemiological study will be required before definitively confirming that use of these devices leads to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, the results of the study were clear: Chronic use of these nail polish drying machines damages human cells.

Maria Zhivago, a postdoctoral researcher in Alexandrov’s lab and first author of the study, used to be a fan of manicures herself, but she swears by the technique after seeing the results.

“When I was doing my PhD, I started hearing about gel nail polish, which lasts longer than regular nail polish. I was interested in experimenting with gel nail polish, particularly in a work setting in an experimental lab where I would wear and take off gloves often to maintain a neat appearance,” Zhivagoy said. So I started using gel manicures periodically for several years. Once I saw the effect of the radiation from the Gel Polish Dryer on cell death and that it actually alters cells even after a single 20-minute session, I was surprised. I found this very disturbing, and decided to stop using it.”

Study their effect on human cells

The idea to study these particular devices came to Alexandrov in the dentist’s office, from all over the place. While waiting, he reads a magazine article about a young beauty pageant contestant who was diagnosed with a rare form of skin cancer on her finger.

“I thought that was weird, so we started digging into it, and we noticed a number of reports in medical journals saying that people who get manicures frequently — like runners and estheticians — report very rare cases of finger cancer, suggesting that this It may be a cause of this type of cancer,” Alexandrov said. “And what we saw was that there was no molecular understanding of what these devices were doing to human cells.”

To conduct the study, Zhivagui exposed the three cell types to two different conditions: acute exposure and chronic exposure to a UV light device. Under acute exposure, Petri dishes containing one of the cell types were placed in a UV curing machine for 20 minutes. Then they were taken out for an hour to fix or restore to a steady state, and then exposed again for 20 minutes. Under chronic exposure, cells were placed under the machine for 20 minutes daily for three days.

Cell death, damage, and DNA mutations were seen in both conditions, with a rise in reactive oxygen species molecules — known to cause DNA damage and mutations — and disruption of mitochondrial function in the cells. Genomic profiling revealed higher levels of somatic mutations in irradiated cells, with ubiquitous patterns of mutations in melanoma patients.

Is the risk worth the reward?

This data in human cells, along with a number of previous reports of cancers in people who frequently undergo manicures, paint a picture of a purely cosmetic procedure that is far more risky than previously thought. But is getting a gel manicure once a year really a cause for concern, or should only those who do it very regularly worry? More studies are needed to determine any increased cancer risk and frequency of use, but with so many alternatives to this cosmetic procedure, the risk may not be worth it to some consumers.

“Our experimental results and previous evidence strongly suggest that radiation from UV nail polish dryers may cause hand cancers and that UV nail polish dryers, similar to tanning beds, may increase the risk of early onset skin cancer,” they write. “However, future large-scale epidemiological studies are warranted to accurately determine the risk of hand skin cancer in people who use UV nail polish dryers and the general public.”

Although other consumer products use UV light in the same spectrum—including the tool used to treat dental fillings and some hair removal treatments—researchers note that the regularity of use, plus the entirely cosmetic nature of nail dryers, sets them apart.

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