MSU scientists discovered the danger of popular UV filters in sunblock cream

© Fotolia / verona_studioMSU scientists discovered the danger of popular UV filters in sunblock cream© Fotolia / verona_studio

Scientists of chemical faculty of Moscow state University in their study showed any harmful chemicals disintegrates, avobenzone is a component of many sunscreens — when interacting with chlorinated water and to UV radiation. The chemists presented the results of their work in the journal chemosphere is.Chemists of Moscow state University as the research object selected, avobenzone derived chemical compounds dibenzoylmethane, as it is the most popular UV filter in the world. Avobenzone, was patented in 1973, and in 1988 approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), Agency of the Ministry of health and social services, involved in quality control of food, drugs, cosmetics, tobacco and certain other categories of goods. The ability of avobenzone absorb ultraviolet light in a wide wavelength range has led to the fact that many manufacturers began using it in their products: lipsticks, creams and other cosmetics.

Creams from sunburn, which is avobenzone, used by millions of people around the world. Chemical UV filters, such as avobenzone, can absorb UV light due to the peculiarities of its structure.Avobenzone, absorbs ultraviolet radiation and converts it into different wavelengths which do not harm the skin (in other words, it converts light energy to heat energy). In itself, this substance is safe, however, the Russian scientists were able to show that in aqueous solution it is able to break down into harmful chemicals.
MSU scientists have determined what products are formed during the decomposition of avobenzone in chlorinated water and under the action of sunlight. These experiments simulated the real situation when the sunscreen on the skin of people bathing in contact with the water in the pools. Decomposition of avobenzone can occur directly on wet skin, sunscreen.

Chemists found out that the water component of sunscreen is destroyed with the formation of two dozen of organic compounds belonging to the classes of aromatic acids and aldehydes, phenols and acetophenones. The most toxic products were phenols and chlorinated acetophenones. The latter, in particular chloracetophenone are part of the tear compounds, which are used by the police to disperse demonstrations.

«On the basis of experiments it can be concluded that, in General, a secure connection transformirovalsya in water with the formation of more hazardous products. Although the exact Toxicological characteristics of most established products is not known to acetophenones and phenols, especially chlorinated, highly toxic,» explained one of the authors, doctor of chemical Sciences albert Lebedev.

The main research method was gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. This method allows you to securely and effectively conduct qualitative and quantitative analysis of complex mixtures of chemical compounds.

«The study of transformation products of any of the popular cosmetic drug is very important, because often they are much more toxic and more dangerous than their predecessors. In principle, on the basis of such studies it is possible to obtain results that will limit or even put under the ban of the use of a product, maintaining the health of millions of people,» said Lebedev.

Now scientists are exploring the transformation of avobenzone in the conditions of the chlorination and bromination of fresh and sea water. In the chlorination or bronirovanii sea water the range of the decay products of avobenzone will be even wider, and if the water also contains salts of copper (in many swimming pools adds to their beautiful blue color), the large quantities of bromoform that can cause disorders of the liver and kidneys and disruption of the nervous system.

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