Require Warning Labels for Cancer-Causing Manicure Lamps


Target: Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration

Goal: Require manufacturers to put warning labels on the cancer-causing nail drying lamps used in manicures

There is a major health risk hiding inside of nail salons invisible to the naked eye. The use of ultraviolet (UV) nail drying lamps at salons has come under scrutiny because of the high risk of carcinogens entering the body. Recent studies have shown that the drying lamps used in nail salons can increase the risk of skin cancer. Researchers from JAMA Dermatology found that the risk is not high, but the threat varies depending on different lamps and the amount of UV light a person is exposed to. Consequently people who get manicures and pedicures done more than once a month are at especially high risk but likely are unaware of it.

The scientists concluded that just one session with the drying lamps every couple of months could cause damage to the skin. The best thing to do is to avoid the drying lamps all together and opt for traditional drying techniques such as blowing your nails or waiting patiently for them to dry. Although the process may take longer, it could literally save your life.

Consumers need to understand the risk so that they can choose whether or not to use the lamps. Product manufacturers should be required to put warning labels on the lamps, and nail salon employees should also verbally inform their customers of the risk before offering the service. Call on regulators to demand these important safety measures.


Dear Commissioner Hamburg,

Nail salons are a very popular place for people to go and pamper themselves, but that relaxation is disturbed by the fact that drying lamps often used in the process emit dangerous carcinogens. Very much like tanning beds, these small UV drying lamps can cause cancer with frequent use. Many regular nail salon goers are unaware of the risk, therefore they have no idea that their health is in danger whenever they use them.

If the FDA required manufacturers to properly label the devices, and nail salon owners to give their customers a forewarning, then consumers could more easily make the decision to opt out in favor of more traditional and less hazardous methods of nail drying. Please consider this suggestion and help save the lives of regular nail salon customers.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Lubyanka via Wikimedia Commons

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