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Cosmetics and Sunscreens can cause Breast Cell DNA damage

Study reported that two common chemicals used in cosmetics can cause DNA Damage to the breast cancer cells. A research published in Environmental Health Perspectives, found a new mechanism by which estrogens and xenoestrogens (chemical that act like estrogen) can promote breast cancer.

The new research offers more sensitive tools to screen for the potential deleterious effects of environmental chemicals, which would be overlooked by methods currently used. D. Joseph Jerry, professor of veterinary and animal sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, science director of the Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute and co-director of the Rays of Hope Center for Breast Cancer Research in a partnership between UMass Amherst and Baystate Medical Center.

The two compounds — examined in cells grown in the lab and in the mammary glands of mice — were the ultraviolet filter benzophenone-3 (BP-3), also known as oxybenzone, and propylparaben (PP), an antimicrobial preservative found in cosmetics and other personal care products.

Benzophenone-3 is a sunscreen that works. If you use it, you can prevent skin cancer. Am I arguing you shouldn’t use sunscreen? I am not. But there may be a subset of people for whom it may present a significant hazard. D. Joseph Jerry

After studying the effects of two common chemicals used in cosmetics and sunscreens, researchers found that they can cause DNA damage in breast cells. Previous research on the impact of BP-3 and PP focused on the exposure necessary to activate specific genes in cancer cells or accelerate their growth. According to new research, DNA damage in breast cells with estrogen receptors occurred at concentrations that are 1/10th to 1/30th of that required to stimulate proliferation or gene expression.

“Those effects required concentrations that exceed the levels that most women are normally exposed to,” Jerry says.

It’s not toxic unless the cells have estrogen receptors. So it’s acting through the estrogen receptor to create this damage. There is no consequence if you test it in other cells. D. Joseph Jerry


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