Protecting the Protectors: Reducing the Biological Toxicity of UV Sunscreens by Zeolite Encapsulation
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The phototoxic and photoallergic effects of the once popular UV sunscreen p-aminobanzoic acid are related, in part, to its ability to sensitize the formation of singlet oxygen as well as other reactive oxygen species. In this work we demonstrate that the sunscreen-photoinduced inactivation of a model protein, horseradish peroxidase, is reduced by approximately a factor of three when the sunscreen is encaspsulated in zeolite sodium Y. These results provide evidence that using the technology of zeolite encapsulation to prepare a supramolecular sunscreen that minimizes the skin contact of active ingredients may reduce the adverse effects of "naked" sunscreens on biological systems. These radiation-induced effects, unfortunately, frequently accompany the desirable UV-screening role of these products. These results provide an important benchmark for the use of zeolite encapsulation as a means of improving the safety of UV sunscreens for topical application.
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