Author Interviews, Dermatology, Environmental Risks / 04.12.2020 Interview with: Jeremy M. Gernand, PhD, CSP, CRE Associate Professor Environmental Health and Safety Engineering Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering What is the background for this study? Response: Given concern in the public about exposure to nanoparticles in cosmetics, we decided to investigate the exposure potential for inhaling nanoparticles during the application of aerosol mineral-based sunscreens that are typically marketed as safer for children. We choose three commercially available sunscreens to test in the lab in a manner intended to capture the amount of inhaled particles that would typically occur during application of sunscreen to the mid-point of one’s own arm.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology / 30.05.2019 Interview with: Lara B. McKenzie, PhD, MA Principal Investigator in the Center for Injury Research and Policy Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics College of Medicine and the Division of Epidemiology College of Public Health at The Ohio State University What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Social media and other online tools have changed the way people seek and share health information. Recent consumer interest in natural, organic, and ethically-made personal care products has led to an increase of shared recipes for homemade products including sunscreen. The study found that nearly all (95%) pins, or bookmarks, for homemade sunscreen positively portrayed the effectiveness of homemade sunscreens and most (68%) recommended recipes for homemade sunscreens that offered insufficient UV radiation protection. Sun Protection Factor (SPF) claims were made in a third of pins with a range of SPF 2 to SPF 50. This is concerning because the ingredients recommended in homemade sunscreen pins offer minimal scientifically proven broad-spectrum protection from UV radiation yet are widely shared and promoted as safe alternatives to commercial sunscreens on Pinterest. Homemade sunscreen products are risky because they are not regulated or tested for efficacy like commercial sunscreens. When you make it yourself, you don’t know if it’s safe or effective. With rising skin cancer rates, the use of effective broadband sunscreen is critical to protect the skin from UV radiation and reduce incidence of skin cancer.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Environmental Risks / 04.08.2018 Interview with: sunscreen creative commonsAdela J. Li, PhD Research Affiliate Wadsworth Center, Rm. D597 New York State Dept. of Health Empire State Plaza Albany, NY, 12201-0509 On the behalf of Dr. Kelvin Leung What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Most people love the beach. In order to block the sun’s damaging UV radiation, people generally slather on a thick layer of sunscreen against sunburn and skin cancer. Sunscreen is suggested to be re-applied every few hours regarding its effectiveness as well as being washed off into the water. These UV filters have been detected in the environment but most studies concluded that individual sunscreen chemicals pose no/low risk to animals or human. However, UV filters constitute a heterogeneous group of chemicals in sunscreens. We are wondering if combination of UV filters would induce higher toxicity than individual compounds, and whether these chemical interactions would develop over time, becoming increasingly dangerous to the living systems. Our study found seven of the nine UV filters in Shenzhen waters, China --- a rapidly urbanized city with over 20 popular recreational beaches, surprisingly, a reservoir and tap water. After exposing artemia to three dominant UV filters and then feeding these artemia to zebrafish adults, concentrations in both were up to 4 times higher when exposed to the mixtures than when exposed to only a single UV filter. A short-term of 25-day dietary exposure to the zebrafish adults did not appear to significantly influence early life stage development of the second generation; however, relatively long exposure over 47 days had significant adverse effects on embryo development. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Environmental Risks, JAMA, Melanoma / 19.07.2018 Interview with: “Sunscreen” by Tom Newby is licensed under CC BY 2.0Dr Caroline Watts  PhD Post-doctoral Researcher The University of Sydney. What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: The study analysed data collected from nearly 1700 young Australians who participated in the Australian Melanoma Family Study, a population-based case-control-family study that focused on people who had a melanoma under 40 years of age and compared them with people the same age who did not have a melanoma. We examined sunscreen use during childhood and adulthood and its association with melanoma risk and found that compared to people who did not use sunscreen, regular sunscreen use during childhood reduced melanoma risk by 30-40 per cent.  (more…)
Abuse and Neglect, Author Interviews, Dermatology, Environmental Risks, Melanoma, Occupational Health / 18.07.2018 Interview with: “Brad at Santa Monica Pier on Ferris Wheel” by Brad Cerenzia is licensed under CC BY 2.0Sonia Duffy, PhD, RN, FAAN Professor, College of Nursing The Ohio State University What is the background for this study? Response: Prior to conducting a tobacco cessation study with Operating Engineers, I conducted a survey of 498 Operating engineer and found that many of them were at risk for sun burning, which can lead to skin cancer.  So as a follow up study, I conducted a study to prevent sun burning, which randomized 357 Operating Engineers to were randomized to four interventions: education only; education and text message reminders; education and mailed sunscreen; and education, text message reminders, and mailed sunscreen. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Environmental Risks, Melanoma / 22.05.2018 Interview with: “Sunscreen” by Tom Newby is licensed under CC BY 2.0Carla Burns, M.S. Environmental Working Group She is one of the coauthors of the 2018 Guide to Sunscreens. What is the background for the EWG report?  Response: Environmental Working Group (EWG) published its first Sunscreen Guide in 2007. When we first started the guide, many sun protection products sold in the U.S. were not as safe and used misleading marketing claims. Throughout the years, EWG has continued to find that a common sunscreen ingredient, oxybenzone, poses a hazard to human health and the environment. Despite EWG’s efforts to draw attention to the health hazards associated with this ingredient over the last 12, oxybenzone remains widely used in chemical-based sunscreens. So, this year, we are ramping up our efforts to rid the market of this ingredient by launching a campaign to urge companies and consumers to go oxybenzone-free by 2020. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology / 24.01.2017 Interview with: Hao Ou-Yang, PhD Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc Skillman, New Jersey What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This is the first-ever published study to evaluate UV protection value of shade in a real-world setting. Eighty-one subjects with Fitzpatrick skin type I to III were divided into two groups: one using only a commercially available beach umbrella (round-shaped, 80” diameter, 75” high) and the other using only Neutrogena® Ultra Sheer® SPF 100+ sunscreen. Sunscreen subjects were monitored applying the product to all exposed areas following the label directions 15 minutes before beach exposure and were instructed to re-apply at least every 2 hours or as needed. Subjects were instructed to stay at the beach for 3.5 hours but could leave or stay under a shade for up to 30 minutes for cooling or rest. Shade subjects were instructed to stay under the umbrella without wearing clothes that could block the evaluated areas during the study duration. They were allowed to leave the umbrella after covering up for up to 30 minutes. There were significant differences between the two groups in clinically evaluated sunburn protection for all seven body sites measured. The Ultra Sheer SPF 100+ sunscreen provided excellent sunburn protection for all the body sites, as demonstrated by no significant changes in sunburn grading before and after UV exposure in any sites except for face. Of the subjects in the shade group, there were a total of 142 sunburn areas across all parts of the body in 78% of the umbrella group (vs. 17 areas among 10 people in the sunscreen group – 25%). Sunburn incidence within the sunscreen group may be due to uneven application (missed spots), failure to re-apply after sweating, and under-application. Most subjects in the sunscreen group applied roughl yhalf of the amount of sunscreen recommended to achieve the SPF value on the label. High SPF products provide a margin of safety for consumers who under-apply, as shown here and in other studies. (more…)
Author Interviews, NYU, Smoking, Tobacco / 05.08.2016 Interview with: Judith T. Zelikoff, PhD, Professor Department of Environmental Medicine NYU Langone Medical Center. Would you tell us a little about yourself? Response: I am a tenured full professor in the Department of Environmental Medicine at the NYU School of Medicine with >25 years of experience studying the toxicology of inhaled single contaminants and complex mixtures including metals, nanoparticles, gaseous and particulate (PM) air pollutants, e-cigarettes and combustible products from cigarettes, biomass burning, and diesel exhaust. Over the last decade, studies in my laboratory has focused on the effects of maternal inhalation of environmental toxicants, including fine-sized ambient particulate matter during pregnancy (and/or during neonatal development) on fetal cardiovascular structure, obstetric consequences, and later life disorders including obesity, immune dysfunction, and decreased sociability and reproductive success in adult male and female offspring. Other early life studies associated with inhaled nicotine/tobacco products have demonstrated that maternal and neonatal exposure of mice to aerosols from e-cigarettes (with and without nicotine) alters neurodevelopment and produces hyperactivity in adult male offspring. Our studies with smokeless tobacco products demonstrate dyslipidemia and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis in prenatally exposed adult offspring. One of my major scientific accomplishments are my early life inhalation exposure studies demonstrating, for the first time in some cases, that prenatal/neonatal exposure to environmental agents can produce effects persistent into adulthood that can increase susceptibility to a variety of disorders, including cardiovascular disease. In addition, I serve as the Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC)Director for our NYU NIEHS Core Center. In this regard, our COEC team partners with environmentally-impacted communities in the NY/NJ area to assess community concerns associated with environmental pollution and provide educational information that can help build community infrastructure. I am also extremely active as a leader in the Society of Toxicology having served as Secretary of the Society for 3 years and President of the Metals and Immunotoxicology SOT Specialty Sections where i received an Immunotoxicology Lifetime Achievement Award. I currently serve as Chairperson of the SOT Committee for Diversity Initiatives and President of the Ethical, Legal and Social Specialty Section. I am currently a full member of a National Institute of Health Study and have also served on several other Federal/State Advisory Panels including the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council, EPA, NASA, NTP, and NJ Department of Environmental Protection. In addition to serving as an Associate Editor and Editorial Board member for numerous toxicology/environmental health journals, I currently serve as vice-President for the NYU School of Medicine Faculty Council. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research / 20.06.2014

John L. VandeBerg PhD Southwest National Primate Research Center Texas Biomedical Research Institute San Antonio, TX Interview with: John L. VandeBerg PhD Southwest National Primate Research Center Texas Biomedical Research Institute San Antonio, TX 78245-0549 MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of this study? Dr. VandeBerg: Despite the increasing use of sunscreen in recent decades, the incidence of melanoma continues to rise by 3% annually, leading to concerns that sunscreen may not be effective in preventing melanoma despite its efficacy in preventing sunburn.  Our results established in the laboratory opossum, which is the only natural mammalian model of UVB-induced melanoma, that SPF 15 sunscreen applied to infants prior to low dose UVB radiation leads later in life to a 10-fold reduction in pre-melanotic lesions, which are known to progress to malignant melanoma. (more…)