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March 20, 1926


JAMA. 1926;86(12):872-873. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02670380062020

The importance of sunshine for the welfare of plants has long been recognized. It has also been suspected, to express it mildly, that the vegetative functions of animal kind in general and man in particular derive some sort of benefit from the same agency. Fresh air and sunshine have formed the basis of innumerable prescriptions to those who seek to regain good health or to retain it. Only recently, however, has the significance of the invisible radiations begun to be appreciated. As Hess5 has pointed out, the ultraviolet rays constitute less than 1 per cent of the total solar radiations, and it is therefore all the more remarkable that they should prove to be essential to the well being of man. The young, rapidly growing infant thrives better when deprived of the visible rays than when deprived of the ultraviolet rays of the sun. The law of the vital

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