Researchers identify surfactant that could prevent HIV transmission by ProQuest


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									  enzyme in mice, they found that lack of                                             166         inform March 2009, Vol. 20 (3)
  DGAT1 caused levels of retinoic acid
  (RA) to be greatly increased in skin
  and resulted in the loss of hair. Their           Earthjustice made special note of alkyl-   Communication Initiative was unveiled in
  findings were reported in The Journal       phenol ethoxylates in its comments: “Inde-       November 2008 by SDA, the Consumer
  of Biological Chemistry (284:4292–4299,     pendent research has also documented             Specialty Products Association, and the
  2009).                                      troubling hormone-disrupting qualities of        Canadian Consumer Specialty Products
        “For some time, we have been          alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs)—com-              Association. The initiative provides dif-
  studying the enzymes that make tri-         monly found in detergents, disinfectants,        ferent means to inform consumers about
  glycerides,” said Farese, senior investi-   stain removers, and floor cleaners. Some         the ingredients in products: on the product
  gator and senior author on the study.       breakdown products of these man-made             label; on the manufacturers’, distributors’,
  “We found that one of these enzymes         chemicals can mimic the hormone estro-           or importers’ websites; through a toll-free
  is a major regulator of retinoic acid       gen and, when released into the environ-         telephone number; or through some other
  actions in the skin.”                       ment, are toxic to aquatic wildlife. In          nonelectronic means.
        RA, which comes from vitamin          laboratory studies, they cause breast cancer           “The cleaning product industry’s
  A (retinol), has been used to treat         cells to proliferate, alter cells in the pla-    ingredient communication initiative goes
  skin disorders, such as acne and pso-       centa, and cause reproductive abnormali-         beyond any law on the books in providing
  riasis, and certain cancers, but it is      ties. This raises concerns about whether         meaningful information to consumers,”
  fairly toxic and must be carefully con-     they may increase the risk of breast cancer,     added Radecki.
  trolled. In mice without DGAT1, the         miscarriages, and reproductive damage in               SDA stated that responsible manu-
                                              humans.”                                         facturers ensure their products go through
  skin was very sensitive to retinol. The
                                                    Laura Haight, senior environmental         comprehensive, extensive risk assessments,
  loss of DGAT1 also caused alopecia, or
                                              associate with the New York Public Interest      and also review scientific developments and
  hair loss. Both of these effects could      Research Group, said, “Manufacturers of          monitor product use data that may affect
  be prevented by depriving the mice          household cleaning products have a respon-       the safety assessment process. SDA said
  of a source of retinol in their diet. It    sibility to inform consumers and state regu-     that “an incredible amount” of research and
  turns out that DGAT1 can convert            lators about chemicals in their products that    development goes on before products ever
  retinol to a relatively inert storage       may endanger human health or the environ-        hit the shelves, not to mention that the prod-
  form. Without DGAT1, this ability is        ment. This is not only common sense; here        ucts must meet federal and state quality and
  lost, and any excess retinol in the skin    in New York, it’s the law.”                      safety regulations.
  can be converted to RA.
                     nnn                      inDUSTRY RESPOnSE
  Huntsman Corp. (Salt Lake City, Utah,       The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA;         Researchers
                                                                                               identify surfactant
  USA) and Zavod Sintanolov (Nizhny           Washington, DC, USA)) responded by
  Novgorod, Russia) have announced            arguing that the lawsuit was unfounded,
  that they have signed a cooperation
  agreement by which both companies
                                              lacked legal standing, and was not sup-
                                              ported by state law. SDA went on to say
                                                                                               that could prevent
  “will share know-how, expertise, and
  resources to develop the Russian
                                              that the challenge ignores efforts by indus-
                                              try to offer more information than ever
                                                                                               HiV transmission
  market for surfactants.” According          before about cleaning products and their         Researchers at the University of Minnesota
  to the agreement, the Performance           ingredients. The association expressed           (Minneapolis, USA) say they have identi-
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