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Skin-protecting wristband tells you when to seek shade

Posting in Cancer

A new disposable bracelet tells you when you've had your fill of sunlight.

Ever worry that your sunscreen isn’t quite doing the trick?

Thanks to a new, disposable wristband from scientists in Glasgow, Scotland, you can now know exactly when you’ve reached your sunshine quota and when it’s time to seek out some shade.

Designed to look like the plastic bracelets worn by concertgoers, the wristband warns people when they’ve reached their ultraviolet (UV) radiation limit by changing color from yellow to pink as the risk of sunburn or overexposure increases.

Developed by Professor Andrew Mills and Dr. Michael McFarlane, both formerly of the University of Strathclyde and now with Intellego Technologies, the wristbands contain an acid-release agent that works in conjunction with a dye. While the agent picks up UV light, the dye responds to pH levels in the indicator. Once sunlight decomposes the agent, the wristband  quickly changes colors.

Since different complexions can handle varying amounts of sun, the wristbands are tailored to fit a number of skin types. A wristband worn by someone with fair skin and light hair, for example, would turn from yellow to pink faster than the bracelet of someone who has a darker complexion.

Intellego Technologies is set to develop and sell the 15-cent bracelets in the spring of 2013 and according to the Daily Mail, Mills and McFarlane seem to think there will be plenty of demand for their new tools. With over 3.5 million cases of skin cancer diagnosed each year in the United States alone, the researchers are likely right about that.

[via TIME via Daily Mail]

Image: Robin Jay/Wikimedia Commons

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Sarah Korones

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Sarah Korones is a freelance writer based in New York. She has written for Psychology Today and Boston's Weekly Dig. She holds a degree from Tufts University. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure