Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chemical Contaminants May Inhibit Cancer-Fighting White Blood Cells

Date:
March 25, 1999
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Kentucky researchers have demonstrated, for the first time, that a class of common chemical contaminants known as butyltins disrupt the function of critical human immune cells. The scientists also say biologically significant concentrations of butyltins were found in random human blood samples.

ANAHEIM, Calif., March 24 -- Kentucky researchers have demonstrated, for the first time, that a class of common chemical contaminants known as butyltins disrupt the function of critical human immune cells. The scientists also say biologically significant concentrations of butyltins were found in random human blood samples. The findings are being presented at a national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

Related Articles


Butyltin compounds come in either single, double, or triple forms. They are used to inhibit the growth of unwanted organisms such as bacteria, algae, and barnacles. Tributyltin (TBT) is used as a wood preservative as well as on fish culture nets, docks, and boat hull paints. Though TBTs have been banned on small boats for about a decade, they are still commonly used on large ships. TBTs have been detected in seafood, such as fish and oysters, collected from coastal areas.

Various groups have done studies suggesting that tributyltin levels have decreased in U.S. waters in recent years, and some studies suggest that seafood does not contain enough tributyltins to cause human health problems. However, Murray State University chemist Bommanna G. Loganathan, Ph.D., who performed the study with another Murray State chemist, Margaret M. Whalen, Ph.D., says statistics for production of butyltins used in many everyday applications are not available.

The scientists found that butyltins disrupt the function of human natural killer cells, or NK cells, in the laboratory. The job of these blood cells is to destroy tumor cells and cells infected with viruses. When exposed to "environmentally relevant" concentrations of tributyltin in the lab for as little as an hour, Loganathan says the tumor-killing ability of NK cells was inhibited. Mono- and di- butyltins were found to be only slightly less harmful to the NK cells.

Mono- and dibutyltins are found in a variety of household products including some types of diaper covers, sanitary napkins, shower curtains, gloves, cellophane wraps, dish sponges, wines, fruit juices, and poultry.

Loganathan notes that the human body can degrade butyltins fairly efficiently and eliminates them in 24 - 48 hours. However, previous studies in rats have shown butyltins to have various toxic effects, including disruption of the immune system. Loganathan says his current study, using blood cells from adult male and female volunteers, was the first to demonstrate the effect of butyltin compounds on human immune cell function.

Loganathan and Whalen also measured butyltin levels in the blood of eight people who he says should have had no extraordinary exposure to butyltins. He says he found "concentrations, in some cases, approaching levels where we saw inhibitory effects on NK cell cytotoxic function in the lab."

Loganathan feels that while human exposure is highly likely, researchers do not yet know for sure how the compounds will affect human health. His study strongly emphasizes the need for further blood monitoring studies and risk assessment.

A nonprofit organization with a membership of nearly 159,000 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. "Chemical Contaminants May Inhibit Cancer-Fighting White Blood Cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 March 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990325053802.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (1999, March 25). Chemical Contaminants May Inhibit Cancer-Fighting White Blood Cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990325053802.htm
American Chemical Society. "Chemical Contaminants May Inhibit Cancer-Fighting White Blood Cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990325053802.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) A study from University of Michigan researchers found that expectant fathers see a decrease in testosterone as the baby's birth draws near. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 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