Abstract— Exposure to solar UV radiation is a risk factor for cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM). Epidemiologic studies have also considered the use of sunlamps as a possible contributor to CMM. We measured and analyzed the emission spectra of six different currently marketed sunlamps and a historical sunlamp, the UVB-emitting FS lamp, and compared the results to solar exposure. For a typical tanner (20 sessions @ 2 minimal erythema doses (MED)/session), the annual UVA doses from commonly used fluorescent sunlamps were 0.3-1.2 times that received from the sun. For a frequent tanner (100 sessions @ 4 MED/session), the annual UVA doses from fluorescent sunlamps were 1.2-4.7 times that received from the sun and 12 times for recently available, high-pressure sunlamps. To determine biologically effective doses, action spectra for squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in humans and for melanoma in the Xiphophorus fish (XFM) were applied to the sunlamps' emission spectra. The results for the effective doses using the SCC action spectrum tracked the UVB doses, while the results using the XFM action spectrum tracked the UVA doses. When combined with UV exposure received from the sun, typical sunlamp use results in an approximate doubling of annual effective dose, if the XFM action spectrum is applied. Frequent use, however, can increase the annual effective XFM dose by as much as 6 times what would be received from the sun alone for fluorescent sunlamps and as much as 12 times for newer, high-pressure sunlamps.
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