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New guidance on safety of cosmetic laser and IPL

30 April 2020

ARPANSA’s Dr Ken Karipidis chaired a committee of the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) to develop a statement on exposure to non-ionising radiation for cosmetic purposes.

The new statement includes guidance on the use of non-ionising radiation for cosmetic purposes, including laser hair removal, skin rejuvenation and body sculpting.

‘The new ICNIRP statement provides an important analysis of the safety and regulation of cosmetic use of non-ionising radiation’, said Dr Karipidis, Assistant Director, Assessment and Advice.

The statement was prepared by an international committee of eminent scientists working in the field of radiation protection with representatives from organisations in Australia, the US, UK and other European countries.

‘Cosmetic devices that use non-ionising radiation are becoming increasingly popular and safety is an important factor’ said Dr Karipidis, ‘misuse can result in burns, skin damage or pigmentation and even long term eye damage in some cases’.

ARPANSA released guidance on the use of lasers, light-emitting diodes (LED) and intense pulsed light (IPL) for cosmetic purposes last year and the ICNIRP statement supports an international approach to radiation protection in this field.

The statement describes the various techniques and technologies used in cosmetic applications of non-ionising radiation and analyses findings from a diverse body of scientific research. The statement also addresses the use of ultrasound for cosmetic purposes, home-use devices and occupational exposure considerations.

‘The statement provides important evidence-based guidance to service providers and customers around the world to improve the safety of cosmetic use of non-ionising radiation’, said Dr Karipidis.