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 Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
14.12.2017 | Aalto University

nachricht ASU scientists develop new, rapid pipeline for antimicrobials
14.12.2017 | Arizona State 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: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests

14.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

New type of smart windows use liquid to switch from clear to reflective

14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>