We’re constantly being told to put on sunscreen to protect out skin – but could it doing damage to our brains in the meantime?
Two professors from the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland have been given a substantial grant by the European Union to explore a possible link between sunscreen and Alzheimer’s disease, the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph reported.
The professors are leading a "groundbreaking 3-year research project into whether human engineered nanoparticles, such as those found in sunscreen, can induce neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.”
Nanoparticles are present in chemicals found in sunscreens, cosmetics, tires, electronics and surface coatings. The tiny metals are added to sunscreen to reflect sunlight without being too greasy on the skin, according to the report.
“There is now firm evidence that some engineered nanoparticles entering intravenously or via lungs can reach the brains of small animals,” said Professor Vyvyan Howard, a pathologist and toxicologist, who is working on the project.
A recent report by Chinese researchers, found seven young Chinese women suffered permanent lung damage and two of them died after working for months without proper protection in a paint factory using nanoparticles.
The researchers said the study is the first to document health effects of nanotechnology in humans, although animal studies in the past have shown nanoparticles could damage the lungs of rats, according to the report by Reuters.