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Wearable UV bands could prevent skin cancer, Aussie researchers say



New wristbands can tell wearers how much UV they've been exposed to in a bid to prevent sunburn and reduce the risk of melanoma, according to a team from the Queensland University of Technology.

Researchers from the university created the sun-smart bands to help curb the high rates of skin cancer in Queensland, which holds the title of the melanoma capital of the world.

The clear band is filled with a dye that changes colour when exposed to UV rays – the band will turn bright pink when the wearer has been exposed to too much sun, informing them when they are developing a sunburn.

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"It's really important to measure the cumulative dose because often people throughout the day during activities like going to the shops or commuting … people don't usually think (how) about these exposures to sun can build up over time," Levi Swann from QUT said.

Rather than returning to clear after the user goes into the shade, the bands accumulate sun throughout the day and can be reset and reused again.

Researchers are also working on personalising the bands for different skin tones. 

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The sun-smart bands were made to help minimize the high number of Queenslanders developing skin cancer

"What we're also playing with is being able to tune that to be able to make it more sensitive for fairer or tanned skin," researcher Nathan Boase said.

"I added some additives to slow the process down for people who have a darker skin tone."

The QUT team is currently looking for industry partners to manufacture the bands.

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