The sun's ultraviolet lights could profoundly affect public health initiatives to combat skin cancer.health and fitness Updated: Mar 23, 2004 19:01 IST
A new study on the sun's ultraviolet lights could profoundly affect public health initiatives to combat skin cancer, according to a study published Monday.
Type A ultraviolet (UVA) light, once considered less dangerous than type B ultraviolet (UVB) light, "could contribute more significantly to skin cancer than previously assumed," the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America found.
The research could have implications on the use of sun-tanning lamps used at beauty salons.
UVA, which causes skin to age, produces less direct damage on DNA than UVB "and therefore has been considered far less carcinogenic," according to the study led by Gary Halliday of the Melanoma and Skin Cancer Research Institute in Sydney.
Researchers studied two types of skin cancer cells to examine the effects of UVA.
Most mutations caused by UVA were found in cells deep in the skin, while those caused by UVB were found in superficial layers of the skin.
"Because of the mutagenic effects that UVA waves have on dividing stem cells in the skin, the researchers propose that this type of ultraviolet light could contribute more significantly to skin cancer than previously assumed," the study said.
"Given the traditional emphasis on UVB, these results may have profound implications for future public health initiatives for skin cancer prevention," according to the study.