DNA damage and somatic mutations in mammalian cells after irradiation with a nail polish dryer

Nat Commun. 2023 Jan 17;14(1):276. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-35876-8.


Ultraviolet A light is commonly emitted by UV-nail polish dryers with recent reports suggesting that long-term use may increase the risk for developing skin cancer. However, no experimental evaluation has been conducted to reveal the effect of radiation emitted by UV-nail polish dryers on mammalian cells. Here, we show that irradiation by a UV-nail polish dryer causes high levels of reactive oxygen species, consistent with 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanine damage and mitochondrial dysfunction. Analysis of somatic mutations reveals a dose-dependent increase of C:G>A:T substitutions in irradiated samples with mutagenic patterns similar to mutational signatures previously attributed to reactive oxygen species. In summary, this study demonstrates that radiation emitted by UV-nail polish dryers can both damage DNA and permanently engrave mutations on the genomes of primary mouse embryonic fibroblasts, human foreskin fibroblasts, and human epidermal keratinocytes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA Damage*
  • Fibroblasts*
  • Humans
  • Keratinocytes / radiation effects
  • Mammals
  • Mice
  • Mutation / radiation effects
  • Nails
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Ultraviolet Rays* / adverse effects


  • Reactive Oxygen Species