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Page last updated at 06:41 GMT, Tuesday, 7 April 2009 07:41 UK
Wristbands 'could stop sunburn'

By Adina Campbell
Newsbeat reporter

Pink band
UV rays cause the yellow band to turn pink before burning

Sunbathers could soon be able to wear a wristband that turns pink when they're in danger of burning their skin.

It's the first of its kind in the UK and could be on the market in a couple of months.

Researchers in Scotland have spent more than £50,000 developing the band over the past year.

It works when UV rays react to chemicals inside the material which causes them to change from a yellow to a pink colour.

Professor Andrew Mills led the further chemistry team at the University of Strathclyde.

He says the UV-driven reaction with the dye acts as an "intelligent ink".

He told Newsbeat: "People think of chemical reactions as happening in test tubes but here you have a reaction in a very thin layer of ink film that produces a colour change.

And he says it's that colour change that can help you stay safe in the sun.

"As soon as the indicator turns pink, you should get out of the sun because if you stay you'll burn."

His team's hoping to get a company making the wristbands in bulk and on the market as soon as possible.

''Our plan is to start a company that will make products out of this technology, such as wristbands or clothing labels," he said.

Doctor Mike McFarlen from the University of Strathclyde
The team behind the band say it could lead to other technologies

"We've already been approached by a number of skincare product manufacturers who are interested in the technology."

Doctor Mike McFarlen, who also helped develop the band, says this breakthrough could lead to other new technologies.

He said: ''Now that we've come up with this idea, we're pretty sure we'll be able to develop more indicators that let you know, for example, when you have bad breath or how much carbon dioxide is around you."

But not everyone's convinced. 25-year-old Danny Westcarr from Glasgow reckons it's a gimmick.

He said: ''When I go on holiday I wouldn't be thinking about buying one for the beach.

"Most of us have enough common sense to realise what the sun can do our skin and how we should protect it. I believe it's a waste of money."

Twenty-four-year-old Amy Samuels also feels the same.

She said: ''I really wouldn't think about wearing one. I wouldn't want to get the tan lines and I'm cautious about being in the sun for too long anyway.''

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