Originally published November 28 2009
Nanoparticles in Some Vitamins, Cosmetics, Sunscreens and Paint Cause Genetic Damage
by Sherry Baker, Health Sciences Editor
(NaturalNews) It's no surprise that the extremely small substances (sized between one and 100 nanometers) known as nanoparticles can easily get inside the body. And when they do, how do they affect physiology, organs, even DNA? Unfortunately, those questions remain, for the most part, unanswered. But that hasn't stopped manufacturers from using nanoparticles in a host of items. For example, titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles are found in everything from toothpaste, eye shadows and paint to vitamins, sunscreens and food coloring. In fact, manufacturing TiO2 nanoparticles is a huge industry that produces about two million tons of the stuff each year.
Until recently, TiO2 nanoparticles have been labeled non-toxic because they do not cause chemical reactions. But new research just published in the journal Cancer Research demonstrates that it is the surface interaction the nanoparticles produce inside a body that causes genetic damage. Bottom line: the study conducted by researchers at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center has revealed for the first time that TiO2 nanoparticles induce single and double-strand DNA breaks and cause chromosomal damage, as well as inflammation, all of which increase the risk of cancer.
In a statement to the media, senior study author Robert Schiestl, a UCLA professor of pathology, radiation oncology and environmental health sciences, stated these nanoparticles wander throughout the body causing oxidative stress, which can result in cell death. Once inside the body, the TiO2 nanoparticles accumulate in different organs because there is no way to eliminate them internally. And because the particles are so tiny, they can literally go anywhere -- even glide through cells to potentially disrupt body functions on a sub-cellular level.
"The novel principle is that titanium by itself is chemically inert. However, when the particles become progressively smaller, their surface, in turn, becomes progressively bigger, and in the interaction of this surface with the environment, oxidative stress is induced," Schiestl said in the press statement. "This is the first comprehensive study of titanium dioxide nanoparticle -- induced genotoxicity, possibly caused by a secondary mechanism associated with inflammation and/or oxidative stress. Given the growing use of these nanoparticles, these findings raise concern about potential health hazards associated with exposure."
In the UCLA study, TiO2 nanoparticles were added to the drinking water of lab mice. The animals began showing genetic damage by the fifth day of nanoparticle exposure. The human equivalent of this amount of TiO2 nanoparticles would be 1.6 years of exposure in a manufacturing environment. However, Schiestl pointed out, that no one knows if regular, daily exposure in people increases exponentially as contact with nanoparticles continues in the regular household environment.
"It could be that a certain portion of spontaneous cancers are due to this exposure," Schiestl said. "And some people could be more sensitive to nanoparticle exposure than others. I believe the toxicity of these nanoparticles has not been studied enough."
Author's note: NaturalNews is opposed to the use of animals in medical experiments that expose them to harm. We present these findings in protest of the way in which they were acquired.
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About the authorSherry Baker is a widely published writer whose work has appeared in Newsweek, Health, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Yoga Journal, Optometry, Atlanta, Arthritis Today, Natural Healing Newsletter, OMNI, UCLA's "Healthy Years" newsletter, Mount Sinai School of Medicine's "Focus on Health Aging" newsletter, the Cleveland Clinic's "Men's Health Advisor" newsletter and many others.
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