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Polis Report

Sun & Susor Ability

By Traci Hukill

It's like a scene from a bad postnuclear movie: Millions of humans, terrified of deadly solar radiation, huddle inside their houses until sundown. They venture into sunlight when they must, but only after consulting hand-held UV meters to determine the sun's intensity.

We're not there yet, but the makers of the Sunsor Ultraviolet Meter will be smiling graciously and proffering their $40 gadgets if and when we do arrive at that scary place. Conceived in 1986, the wallet-sized Sunsor measures UVB intensity, then provides an exposure guide for six different skin types. Sun worshipers can opt for the pasty northern look, a light toasty tan, or a blistering first-degree sunburn and heatstroke.

Despite such damning evidence as Australia's claim to the highest rate of skin cancer in the world--a dubious honor commonly attributed to the Land Down Under's depleted ozone--Sunsor, Inc., Vice President George Sherwin insists that concern for the ozone did not drive Sunsor's conception and, in fact, dismisses ozone depletion as junk science.

"Much of the 'junk science' is propagated by opportunists and those who have a financial and commercial interest," Sherwin grumbles. Sunsor, Inc., on the other hand, just wants to make sure folks are comfortable after a day at the beach. His most vociferous opponents? The sunscreen manufacturers, of course. Over half the sweet-smelling salves they peddle each year are over SPF 15--completely unnecessary, says Sherwin, if people just use the Sunsor and their heads.

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From the February 27-March 5, 1997 issue of Metro

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