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Article
November 1951

APPRAISAL OF THE TOXICITY OF SUNSCREEN PREPARATIONS

AMA Arch Derm Syphilol. 1951;64(5):585-587. doi:10.1001/archderm.1951.01570110055008
Abstract

IN ADDITION to the rays of the visible spectrum, sunlight contains rays of shorter wave length, those of the ultraviolet range. Coblentz and his associates1 confirmed earlier work of Hausser and Vahle, and of Luckiesh, Holladay, and Taylor, establishing the fact that a maximal burn or erythemogenic effect in the skin was obtained per unit of energy absorbed at a wave length of 2,970 A. Another erythemogenic effect is obtained with rays of wave length 2,400 to 2,500 A. Rays with wave lengths ranging from 3,200 to 3,650 A. will "tan" (cause pigmentation) but not produce a burn. Sunscreen agents are products which upon topical application absorb or otherwise prevent actinic, erythemogenic rays of the sun from reaching the sensitive skin. Ideally, a sunscreen should permit the rays of the longer ultraviolet range responsible for "tanning" (pigmentation) to reach the skin.

Many chemical compounds have been found capable of

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