New York: Pilots can be exposed to the same amount of long-wave ultraviolet (UV-A) radiation as that from a tanning bed session, says a recent research.
Pilots flying for 56.6 minutes at 30,000 feet get the same amount of radiation as that from a 20-minute tanning bed session, the findings said.
UV-A radiation can cause DNA damage in cells and its role in melanoma, a type of skin cancer, is well known, the authors said.
"Airplane windshields do not completely block UV-A radiation and therefore are not enough to protect pilots. UV-A transmission inside airplanes can play a role in pilots' increased risk of melanoma," they added.
Martina Sanlorenzo from University of California, San Francisco and co-authors measured the amount of UV radiation in airplane cockpits during flights and compared them with measurements taken in tanning beds.
The cockpit radiation was measured in the pilot seat of a general aviation turboprop airplane through the acrylic plastic windshield at ground level and at various heights above sea level.
Sun exposures were measured in California and in Las Vegas around midday in April.
"We strongly recommend the use of sunscreens and periodical skin checks for pilots and cabin crew," the authors said in the study published online in the journal JAMA Dermatology.