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Reflections on smart phones, tablets, and ultraviolet (UV) light: Should we worry?

An observational study
      To the Editor: Skin cancer is a growing public health concern. Research continues to elucidate the roles genetic and environmental factors play in its development. Incidence has been increasing for years
      • Rogers H.W.
      • Weinstock M.A.
      • Feldman S.R.
      • Coldiron B.M.
      Incidence estimate of nonmelanoma skin cancer (keratinocyte carcinomas) in the US population, 2012.
      and is predicted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to continue rising. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure has been associated with approximately 90% of nonmelanoma skin cancers,
      • Koh H.K.
      • Geller A.C.
      • Miller D.R.
      • Grossbart T.A.
      • Lew R.A.
      Prevention and early detection strategies for melanoma and skin cancer: current status.
      and a genomic study provided strong evidence of correlation to some melanomas.
      • Pleasance E.D.
      • Cheetham R.K.
      • Stephens P.J.
      • et al.
      A comprehensive catalog of somatic mutations from a human cancer genome.
      Although UV radiation is often addressed in terms of direct exposure, few studies have sought to identify the impact of indirect sources, such as reflected UVB, in part because of the difficulty of quantifying levels of indirect exposure. In addition, none of these indirect UV studies targeted commonly used electronic devices. We conducted a small observational study to measure the crude percentage increase in UVA/B irradiance to the user from device reflectivity. The goal is to provide useful documentation of a potentially common source of indirect UV radiation exposure.
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