Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sunscreen Ingredient Causes DNA Damage In Light

Date:
January 4, 1999
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
A major active ingredient in many sunscreens damages DNA when exposed to sunlight in a test tube, according to scientists in Northern Ireland. They say that if similar damage occurs within skin cells, it could destroy them or possibly initiate changes leading to skin cancer.

A major active ingredient in many sunscreens damages DNA when exposed to sunlight in a test tube, according to scientists in Northern Ireland. They say that if similar damage occurs within skin cells, it could destroy them or possibly initiate changes leading to skin cancer.

The research is presented in the web edition of the peer-reviewed journal Chemical Research in Toxicology, which is published by the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society. It will appear in the journal's Jan. 18 print edition.

The ingredient in question is PBSA, which is commonly used in sunscreens on sale in the U.S. and Europe. It protects skin by strongly absorbing harmful high- energy UV-B wavelength light. In the process PBSA becomes energized and, in principle, capable of damaging adjacent skin tissue, according to the scientists.

In experiments carried out with DNA outside of cells, the researchers say the light-exposed PBSA damaged the genetic material's guanine base sites. "If such damage were to occur to DNA inside cells," says biochemist R. Jeremy H. Davies, Ph.D. of Queen's University in Belfast, "it could increase the risk of developing skin cancer."

While stressing that there is currently no evidence that PBSA actually enters human skin cells, Davies adds that "this new information regarding the photosensitizing properties of PBSA sounds a cautionary note: it may be safer to replace it with another ultraviolet filter that does not attack DNA."

Davies says his methods for testing PBSA -- which are outlined in the Chemical Research in Toxicology paper, co-authored with Queen's University colleague Clarke Stevenson could be used to evaluate other substances as well. He says such work can help to optimize the range and quality of sunscreens available.

In the meantime, Davies emphasizes his confidence in the safety and efficacy of existing sunscreens. "Almost certainly," he concludes, "the benefits associated with their use far outweigh the risks of short or long-term adverse reactions."

###

A nonprofit organization with a membership of more than 155,000 chemists and chemical engineers, the American Chemical Society publishes scientific journals and databases, convenes major research conferences, and provides educational, science policy and career programs in chemistry. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Sunscreen Ingredient Causes DNA Damage In Light." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 January 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/01/990104073637.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (1999, January 4). Sunscreen Ingredient Causes DNA Damage In Light. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/01/990104073637.htm
American Chemical Society. "Sunscreen Ingredient Causes DNA Damage In Light." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/01/990104073637.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) New findings suggest men with a certain type of baldness at age 45 are 39 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins