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Question: UV lamps may cause cancer. How much more UV in lamp than in sunlight?

Asked by Mushu

5 answers

I realise that the UV lamps are low wattage, but there must be more UV in those lamps than in sunlight else you would be able to harden your Shellac under natural sunlight. I'm trying to guage how dangerous gel / Shellac nails are? There have been cases in the USA of these UV lamps causing cancer.

Gel Nails

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Can you help out?

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UV lamps are NOT dangerous at all. They emit UVA light (UVB is what causes sunburn and therefore cancer). The amount of UVA emited by a lamp during a shellac service is the same amount you would get by walking from your front door to your car on a cloudy day.

Thank you.

Sources: knowledge from training

Answer Comments


Thank you for your answer. According to the skin cancer foundation "UVA contributes to and may even initiate the development of skin cancers". Over the past two decades scientists have come to realise the dangers of UVA. UVA can get through clouds (hence why you can still be burned on a cloudy day). See link


May I ask how many times you were burned on a cloudy day? :)
I would highly recommend to read this scientific report before starting to spread scaremongering panic:


Thank you. This report is really good and it disputes the report that led to my concern.
The reason I was concerned is that in my country (New Zealand) we have no ozone layer to protect us by stopping rays and so the UV rays are very strong and it is common to get burned on a cloudy day and skin cancer is a big problem in NZ. I want nice nails but was getting scared after reading the (incorrect) reports on the internet. Thanks!

Other answers (4)


Hi. After reading all the answers that are listed here I think the majority of anwers will be the same! I worked for a nail company for 7 years and we was trained by the manufactures from many companies. We then supplied salons and spas in the uk and Ireland, which we also trained the staff too. I have asked lots of question to these suppliers regarding cancers and burning of the skin. I have always had the same anwers that NO IT DOES NOT TAN OR BURN THE SKIN. The uv is soooooooooo low to cure uv gels it cannot do any damage. If you was to have gel nails done as normal then stick your hand out of the window to set them it just wouldnt work! Yes it would set them but they would also life straight away (ive tried it!) Natural sunlight is just too strong.There is no need to worry. There has been loads of test done on these light, they all have to be checked and made up to EU standards. Or you cannot distribute them in the UK. I have also never heard of any cases that these light have caused cancer too.

Answer Comments


Thank you. Good to know that sunlight is too strong and would cause the gel to lift off the nail.



I actually researched this for an article and I think the official word on it is that they are safe enough to use - obviously all exposure to UVA or UVB rays carries a risk but the time and intensity of it is no worse than say driving in the sun for a few minutes. Preventative measures would be to use a high factor SPF before going under or putting a cloth between your hand and the lamp.

More info on the research and tests here:

Hope that helps!




UV lamp doesn't cost cancer, because is only UV alfa. UV light is different from the sun is everyone kind of light alfa, beta, gama and radiation. Sunbed is UV alfa or beta. The UV lamp is the softest light and is only from 6 to 9 w. Don't worry about UV lamp.


Uv lamps do not have UVA and UVB light. It will not tan your skin, therefor I do not believe uv lamps for nails will cause cancer