2012-08-16

Co.Exist

A Wristband That Could Help Prevent Skin Cancer

It’s no sunscreen pill, but these new bracelets could provide a simple early warning sign that you’ve been out in the sun too long. If your wristband is pink, so are you.

If you don’t want the nasty side effects of staying in the sun too long, there’s a simple fix: Don’t bask in the sun all day, especially not without sunscreen. But if you want to know exactly how much ultraviolet radiation is hitting your skin--and whether you’ve been sunbathing for too long--Intellego Technologies has a solution.

The Swedish company plans to commercialize a color-changing disposable wristband that changes from yellow to pink based on increasing exposure to UV rays. You’ll know that it’s time to get out of the sun, in other words, when the yellow wristband turns pink. The wristband, developed by researchers at the University of Strathclyde, features an acid release agent that picks up UV rays along with a dye that changes in response to pH levels--so when the rays increase, acid is released and the dye changes the wristband’s color.

Intellego is working on an array of wristbands that work for different skin types. The Daily Mail reports that there will be one wristband for people with fair skin and lighter hair, another for people with dark skin and dark hair, so that your wrist alert signals you at the exact right time.

We’d suggest adding in wristbands that also take into account sunscreen use--a person with fair skin and light hair won’t absorb as many UV rays if they’re wearing high SPF sunscreen. Another caveat: The kind of person who would wear a wristband like this is probably already cautious about sun exposure.

The wristband is expected to go on sale in Spring 2013.

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