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September 14, 1946


JAMA. 1946;132(2):104. doi:10.1001/jama.1946.02870370050023

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To the Editor:—  The articles on Wood's light fluorescence of the nails from quinacrine hydrochloride (atabrine) medication (The Journal, July 6, pages 808 and 809) impel me to call attention to a little known mode of production of these zones of radiation. A conventional appearing incandescent bulb has become available. It operates on any house current through the usual outlet. The bulb is Westinghouse Purple X, 250 watt, a 21 screw light socket. On either direct or alternating current this bulb produces ultraviolet radiation and some visible violet. It permits observation of fluorescence of the human skin, hair and nails in a darkened room or closet. The atabrine fluorescence is easily visible on the nails demarcated from the normal nail fluorescence.The operating temperature of the bulb is high, equivalent to a photo flood lamp of the same wattage. The person operating the lamp and the patient must be protected.

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