Some fifteen years ago when the Council on Physical Medicine first undertook the formulation of specifications for accepting so-called sunlamps, qualitative experimental data were available to indicate the possibility of producing cancer on the ears of mice by excessive, often repeated doses of ultraviolet radiation. It was also known qualitatively that relatively small doses of ultraviolet radiation of wavelengths shorter than 2,800 angstrom units produce keratitis and conjunctivitis.
The sunlamps which were then on the market ranged from nondescript products to hot quartz mercury arc lamps which are suitable only for professional use. Hence, after consultation with recognized authorities regarding the potential hazard of initiating cancer of the skin and the unquestionable hazard of causing conjunctivitis, and also with the Food and Drug Administration on what constitutes misbranding, standards for the acceptance of sunlamps1 were promulgated.
In recent times quantitative data have been published on the spectral quality and
COBLENTZ WW. EXPERIMENTAL PRODUCTION OF CANCER OF THE SKIN BY ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION: Its Implications in the Use of Sunlamps. JAMA. 1948;136(16):1040–1043. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.72890330002009
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