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ABSTRACT

Although according to the International Radiological Protection Association–International Non-Ionizing Radiation Committee recommendation (1991) the use of sunbeds for cosmetic purposes is not recommended, tanning devices are used widely. Ten different types of commercially available sunbed tubes have been studied using a uracil biological UV dosimeter, and three of them were analyzed in detail. Dimerization effectiveness of the tubes was measured directly, whereas efficiency of erythema induction was calculated weighting the emission spectra by the Commission Internationale de l'Eclairage erythema action spectrum. The data obtained demonstrate that quality control of sunbed tubes has to include not only the determination of the UV doses administered but also the assessment of the health risk due to the UVB and UVA components of the lamp. A method of quality control using the uracil biological dosimeter was elaborated, and the estimation of the “acceptable” exposure time was checked/controlled on 15 volunteers by assessing individually the erythema induction threshold. A correct classification of the sunbed tubes is proposed by characterizing the erythema induction versus DNA-damaging effectiveness of tubes.