Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

OHSU researchers discover toxicity risks for widely used chemicals

16.09.2002


Research at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) has revealed that certain chemical ingredients of gasoline, jet fuel and other solvents may pose a greater health hazard than first thought. Scientists at the OHSU Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology (CROET) have shown that a benzene derivative damages the nervous system. In fact, the substance is much more active than non-benzene analogs already known to cause peripheral nerve damage (loss of limb sensation and muscle weakness) in solvent-exposed workers. The research team was led by Mohammad Sabri, Ph.D., and Peter Spencer, Ph.D., F.R.C. Path., of OHSU. The conclusions of the research are printed in the September 2002 issue of the Journal of Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology.

"Previously, researchers believed that benzene derivatives were unable to damage the nervous system," said Spencer. "The substance we studied - 1,2-diacetylbenzene - has a ring-like (aromatic) chemical structure in contrast to the straight-chain (aliphatic) solvents that are well established causes of occupation-related nerve damage. Our data suggest the aromatic substance actually has a much higher neurotoxic potency. In addition, the new findings raise the possibility that related aromatic chemicals may also damage the nervous system. We believe these substances should be tested for neurotoxicity, and occupational exposures should be regulated to prevent illness among workers who come in contact with these chemicals."

One of these related aromatic chemicals, a substance known as Musk tetralin, was used until the 1980s by the fragrance industry to hide product odor in soaps and fragrances. The industry voluntarily withdrew Musk tetralin worldwide after Spencer and fellow researchers demonstrated the substance was neurotoxic. Because aromatic hydrocarbons have been used in such large quantities by the public and in commerce, the chemicals are now common soil and water contaminants.



"One surprising property of these neurotoxic substances, including Musk tetralin and 1,2-diacetylbenzene, is their ability to cause blue discoloration of tissue and urine to turn green. Perhaps this property could be used as a biological marker of exposure to these hazardous substances," said Sabri. "We hope to develop a method by which urine or other fluids can be tested for the presence of the blue pigment. Since urine discoloration occurs before neurological disease, it may serve to help prevent onset of disease among those exposed to these substances in the workplace or at contaminated sites."

The research was conducted through the OHSU/CROET Superfund Basic Research Program and NeuroToxicogenomics Research Center, both funded by the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, a component of the National Institutes of Health. Leadership of both of these research centers resides in CROET.

Specifics:
Peter Spencer, Ph.D., F.R.C.Path., senior scientist and director, CROET; principal investigator, NIEHS-supported Superfund Basic Research Center; principal investigator, NIEHS-supported Neurotoxicogenomics and Child Health Research Center; and professor of neurology, OHSU School of Medicine

Mohammad I. Sabri, Ph.D., associate professor of neurology, OHSU School of Medicine; senior investigator, CROET For a complete listing of OHSU press releases, visit www.ohsu.edu/news

Jim Newman | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ohsu.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht A 'half-hearted' solution to one-sided heart failure
24.11.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

nachricht New study points the way to therapy for rare cancer that targets the young
22.11.2017 | Rockefeller University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New proton record: Researchers measure magnetic moment with greatest possible precision

High-precision measurement of the g-factor eleven times more precise than before / Results indicate a strong similarity between protons and antiprotons

The magnetic moment of an individual proton is inconceivably small, but can still be quantified. The basis for undertaking this measurement was laid over ten...

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

IceCube experiment finds Earth can block high-energy particles from nuclear reactions

24.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 'half-hearted' solution to one-sided heart failure

24.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

Heidelberg Researchers Study Unique Underwater Stalactites

24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>