When the sun is shining outside, the last place Dana Humprhey wants to be is working inside. She loves to pack up her computer, her smartphone, and head out to soak up some rays.
"So I like to spend as much time as possible outdoors."
But a new study measured the amount of light reflected off some electronics in the sun-- and now Humprhey is rethinking her work day.
"It's a big wake up call."
Doctors and researchers, hooked up sensors to a mannequin head then measured the amount of UV light that "bounced off" smart phones, tablets, and laptops placed on a music stand.
"When we found out the results we were actually surprised that it was pretty significant," said Dr. Barrett Zlotoff, Dermatologist.
Medical experts found that over an hour's time in the sun, a tablet reflected 85-percent more light than the normal background of a grass field. A laptop reflected 75-percent and a smartphone reflected 35-percent.
"We don't often think about the environmental things that are reflecting light that might be increasing the amount of ultra violet light, which is the kind of light that causes skin cancer and causes skin aging," said Dr. Zlotoff.
They found the glossier the surface the more light was reflected. But doctors said it is important to note that it is exposure over time that is the biggest concern.
"I don't think that's significant enough to be a problem with one exposure. I think the big issue is you're using these devices all the time for years and years and it just is another source of ultra violet light that could be contributing to your overall exposure," said Dr. Zlotoff.
An easy way to protect yourself-- wear sunglasses and sunblock all year, and it should be at least SPF 30.
Doctors said anything glossy, even a magazine, can be a culprit-- So can snow, sand and the water.
New study shines some 'light' on objects we carry every day that may increase the risk of skin cancer
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