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 October 23, 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 October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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