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Safety of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide nanoparticles in sunscreens

 

Glossary over Safety of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide nanoparticles in sunscreens

Absorption

The process of taking in. For a person or an animal, absorption is the process of a substance getting into the body through the eyes, skin, stomach, intestines, or lungs. (Source: ATSDR Glossary of Terms  )

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Allergy

Allergies are inappropriate or exaggerated reactions of the immune system to substances that, in the majority of people, cause no symptoms.

Symptoms of the allergic diseases may be caused by exposure of the skin to a chemical, of the respiratory system to particles of dust or pollen (or other substances), or of the stomach and intestines to a particular food. (Source: ACAAI Allergy-Immunology Glossary  )

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Antioxidant

Any substance that prevents or reduces damage caused by free-radicals (highly reactive chemicals containing oxygen) which attack other molecules and modify their chemical structure.

Antioxidants are commonly used as preservatives in food or cosmetics. Well-known antioxidants include vitamins A, C, and E. (Source: GreenFacts)

Apoptosis

This process gets rid of unneeded cells and is particularly important for “sculpting” tissue and organ structure during development of the embryo (or larval metamorphosis in insects), but may occur at any time even in adult cells when a tissue needs to be remodeled.

Signals to trigger apoptosis may come from within the cell or from outside, by stimulating suicide receptors in the cell’s external membrane. Internal signals producing apoptosis depend on interactions of several proteins and may serve to protect the organism from cancer by killing cells that have pre-cancerous changes.

(Source: Gerontology Research Group ; Glossary for Terms in Gerontology )

Bacteria

Bacteria are a major group of micro-organisms that live in soil, water, plants, organic matter, or the bodies of animals or people. They are microscopic and mostly unicellular, with a relatively simple cell structure.

Some bacteria cause diseases such as tetanus, typhoid fever, pneumonia, syphilis, cholera, and tuberculosis.

Bacteria play a role in the decomposition of organic matter and other chemical processes. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Bacterial resistance

Bacterial resistance is the capacity of bacteria to withstand the effects of antibiotics or biocides that are intended to kill or control them. (Source: GreenFacts, based on the  SCENIHR opinion on Antibiotic Resistance Effects of Biocides )

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Benzene

A volatile liquid solvent found in gasoline, with formula C6H6, that is used widely by the chemical industry. It is found in tobacco smoke, vehicle emissions and gasoline fumes.

Benzene exposure can cause cancer and other health complications. (Source: GreenFacts)

Biochemistry

The study of the chemical processes and compounds occurring in living organisms. (Source: American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering Glossary  )

Blood-brain barrier

A protective barrier between brain blood vessels and brain tissues that allows blood to flow freely to the brain but prevents most substances in the bloodstream from reaching the brain cells.

It protects the brain from the effect of many harmful substances but makes it difficult to deliver drugs to the brain. (Source: GreenFacts)

Cancer

Any one of a group of diseases that occur when cells in the body become abnormal and have the potential to spread and establish growth in nearby tissues and other parts of the body (malignancy). (Source: GreenFacts )

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Carcinogen

A substance, factor or situation that causes or induces cancer. (Source: GreenFacts )

Cell

The basic subunit of any living organism; the simplest unit that can exist as an independent living system. There are many different types of cells in complex organisms such as humans, each with specific characteristics. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Chromosome

One of the threadlike "packages" of genes and other DNA in the nucleus of a cell. Different kinds of organisms have different numbers of chromosomes. Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes, 46 in all: 44 autosomes and two sex chromosomes. Each parent contributes one chromosome to each pair, so children get half of their chromosomes from their mothers and half from their fathers. (Source: NHGRI Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms  )

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Circulatory system

The system that contains the heart and the blood vessels and moves blood throughout the body. This system helps tissues get enough oxygen and nutrients, and it helps them get rid of waste products. The lymph system, which connects with the blood system, is often considered part of the circulatory system. (Source: NCI Dictionary of cancer terms  )

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Digestive tract

The digestive tract is the system of organs which takes in food, digests it to extract energy and nutrients and expels remaining waste. It includes the mouth, salivary glands, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, small intestine, large intestine, and rectum.

After food is chewed and swallowed, the digestive juices released by the pancreas and stomach break it down into substances that are readily absorbed through the small intestine. Material that is not taken up by the body collects in the large intestine, forming faecal matter that is then excreted through the anus. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Enzyme(s)

A protein that encourages a biochemical reaction, usually speeding it up. Organisms could not function if they had no enzymes. (Source: NHGRI NHGRI Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms  )

Epidermis

In humans and animals, epidermis refers to the thin outermost layer of the skin.

This tissue constantly renews itself. (Source: GreenFacts)

Exposure

Contact of the cells of an organism with a substance, micro-organism or radiation. In the case of humans, this may involve contact with a substance or agent by swallowing, breathing, or through the skin or eyes. Exposure may be short-term [acute exposure], of intermediate duration, or long-term [chronic exposure].

Exposure can be divided into external and internal.

External exposure refers to the whole dose to which an organism is exposed.

Internal exposure refers only to that fraction of the initial chemical dose that is absorbed and distributed throughout the body via systemic circulation. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Frequency (in the context of sound)

Frequency is the measurement of the number of times that a repeated event occurs per unit of time.

The frequency of wave-like patterns including sound, electromagnetic waves (such as radio or light), electrical signals, or other waves, expresses the number of cycles of the repetitive waveform per second.

In SI units, the result is measured in Hertz (Hz), named after the German physicist, Heinrich Rudolf Hertz. 1 Hz means one cycle (or wave) per second.

Frequency has an inverse relationship to the concept of wavelength (the distance between two peaks) such that the frequency is equal to the velocity divided by the wavelength. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Genotoxic

Toxic (damaging) to DNA. Substances that are genotoxic may bind directly to DNA or act indirectly leading to DNA damage by affecting enzymes involved in DNA replication, thereby causing mutations which may or may not lead to cancer or birth defects (inheritable damage). Genotoxic substances are not necessarily carcinogenic. (Source: GreenFacts)

Human health

A state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

The health of a whole community or population is reflected in measurements of disease incidence and prevalence, age-specific death rates, and life expectancy. (Source: MA Glossary  )

In vivo

Within a living organism or body. For example, some toxicity testing is done on whole animals, such as rats or mice. (Source: ATSDR Glossary of Terms  )

Inflammation

Inflammation is the reaction of living tissues to infection, irritation or other injury. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Inhalation

The act of breathing.

A hazardous substance can enter the body by inhaling an airborne substance or contaminant in the form of gas, fumes mists, vapors, dusts, or aerosols. Once inhaled, contaminants can be deposited in the lungs and/or transported into the blood. (Source: GreenFacts)

Lipid

An essential structural component of living cells, lipids are a class of oily organic compounds which are insoluble in water but soluble in fats and oils. The lipid class of molecules mainly consists of fats, oils and waxes. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Liver

The liver is a big reddish-brow organ lying beneath the diaphragm on the right side. The liver is made up for a great part of liver cells which absorb nutrients and detoxify and remove harmful substances from the blood such as drugs and alcohol. The liver has many other vital functions and there is currently no way to compensate for the absence of liver.

Other liver functions include:

  • controlling levels of fats, amino acids and glucose in the blood
  • fighting infections in the body, particularly infections arising in the bowel.
  • manufacturing bile, a kind of digestive juice which aids in the digestion of fats
  • storing iron, certain vitamins and other essential chemicals
  • breaking down food and turning it into energy
  • manufacturing, breaking down and regulating numerous hormones
  • making enzymes and proteins which are responsible for most chemical reactions in the body, for example those involved in blood clotting and repair of damaged tissues.
Malignant

Cancerous. Progressive and uncontrolled growth. Malignant neoplasms or tumours can invade and destroy other tissues and spread to other parts of the body via the bloodstream or lymphatics (metastasis). (Source: GreenFacts )

Metabolite

A substance that is the product of biological changes to a chemical. (Source: US EPA Glossary  )

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Micrometre

Unit of length equal to one millionth of a metre. (Source: GreenFacts)

Mutagen

A substance or physical agent that causes mutations, i.e. permanently alters the DNA of a cell. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Nanomaterial

Material with one or more external dimensions, or an internal structure, at nanoscale and which could exhibit novel characteristics compared to the same material at a larger scale. (Source: based on SCENIHR's opinion on the  appropriateness of existing methodologies to assess the potential risks associated with engineered and adventitious products of nanotechnologies )

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Nanoparticle

Particle with one or more dimensions of the order of about 100 millionth of a millimetre (100 nm) or less.

(Note: In the SCENIHR  opinion on the appropriateness of existing methodologies to assess the potential risks associated with engineered and adventitious products of nanotechnologies, nanoparticles are considered to have two or more dimensions at the nanoscale) (Source: GreenFacts )

Nanoscale

Having one or more dimensions of the order of 100 nm or less. (Source: GreenFacts)

Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology is the science of designing, producing, and using structures and devices having one or more dimensions of about 100 millionth of a millimetre (100 nanometres) or less. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Neuron

Neurons are the nerve cells that make up the central nervous system.

This unique type of cell found in the brain that receives and conducts electric imulses, processing and transmitting information

A neuron consists of a cell body containing the nucleus, a single axon which sends messages by conveying electrical signals to other neurons, and a host of dendrites which deliver incoming signals. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Neurotransmitter(s)

Chemical responsible for the transfer of information along the nervous system. (Source: IPCS )

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Oxidative stress

The term “oxidative stress” refers to the presence of excessive levels of highly reactive molecules called free radicals in the cell or a lack of molecules called antioxidants that can eliminate those free radicals. (Source: Charles S. Lieber  Alcohol and Hepatitis C )

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Pancreas

A large, elongated gland located behind the lower portion of the stomach that secretes the hormones insulin and glucagon into the blood. These hormones are essential in regulating blood sugar levels.

The pancreas also secretes enzymes into the small intestine that help with digestion and neutralize acid from the stomach. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Polymer

A polymer is a high-molecular-weight organic compound, natural or man-made, consisting of many repeating simpler chemical units or molecules called monomers.

Examples of natural polymers are proteins (polymer of amino acids) and cellulose (polymer of sugar molecules).

An example of synthetic polymer is PVC (a polymer of vinyl chloride). (Source: GreenFacts)

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Protein

A large molecule composed of one or more chains of amino acids in a specific order, formed according to genetic information.

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Pulmonary

Relating to, or associated with the lungs. (Source: GreenFacts)

Sensitization

In the context of allergies, sensitization is the process by which a person becomes, over time, increasingly allergic to a substance (sensitiser) through repeated exposure to that substance (Source: GreenFacts)

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Skin cancer

A tumour that grows from skin cells and which can have different causes, including repeated severe sunburns or long-term exposure to the sun. (Source: GreenFacts, based on EcoHealth; Glossary   )

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The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration

"The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is part of the Australian Government Department of Health and is responsible for regulating therapeutic goods including prescription medicines, vaccines, sunscreens, vitamins and minerals, medical devices, blood and blood products.

Almost any product for which therapeutic claims are made must be entered in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) before it can be supplied in Australia." (Source: https://www.tga.gov.au  )

Vitamins

Vitamins are a group of organic micronutrients that are required by the body for healthy growth, development and immune system functioning.

Certain vitamins are produced by the body but most vitamins are obtained from food or from manufactured dietary supplements. (Source: GreenFacts)

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