Chicago's Northwestern University last week announced successful tests of a "sunburnometer," a recording device to measure the intensity of the ultraviolet component of the sun's light which causes sunburn. The sunburn-causing wave lengths can be considered as the "health band" in the solar spectrum, mainly because it contains the still narrower band which produces vitamin D in the skin. Developed by Professors Walter S. Huxford and Robert Cashman, the "sunburnometer" is noi sensitive to visible light or to the short radiation on the other side of the sunburn band. It may also be used to test the efficacy of ultraviolet lamps for indoor treatment.
Although the meter contains a new type of photoelectric cell, of pure magnesium enclosed in corex glass, ultraviolet recorder: themselves are not especially new. But Professors Huxford & Cashman have started right out to get geographic comparisons. They find, for example, that Iowa and Nebraska are richer in sunburning sunlight than the Chicago region, that the uplands of South Dakota are richer still. They indicate their willingness to put their heads in a lion's mouth of uproarious dispute by comparing the healthfulness of Florida's sunshine with California's.