ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture Eases Side Effects of Head, Neck Cancer Treatments
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis
A Little Drink May Be Good for Your Bones
Bone Density Predicts Chances of Breast Cancer
CANCER
Some Spices Cut Cancer Risk That Comes With Grilled Burgers
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
Breast Self-Exam Rates Go Up With Counseling
CAREGIVING
Caregiving May Lengthen Life
Injected Medication Errors a Major Problem
Baby's Sleep Position May Not Affect Severity of Head Flattening
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Smog Tougher on the Obese
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
COSMETIC
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
DIABETES
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
5 Reasons why you could gain weight while dieting
TV Food Ads Promote Bad Diets
Compound in Red Wine Fights Ravages of Age
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Former Inmates at Increased Risk for High Blood Pressure
Disinfectants Can Boost Bacteria's Resistance to Treatment
Traffic Seems to Make Kids' Asthma Worse
EYE CARE, VISION
Magnetic Pulses to Brain Improve Lazy Eye in Adults
Brain Pressure More Likely to Cause Vision Loss in Men
Protein Might One Day Prevent Blindness
FITNESS
Marathoners Go the Distance on Heart Health
Higher Fitness Levels Tied to Lower Heart, Death Risks
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
Spread of Swine Flu in Japan Could Raise WHO Alert to Highest Level
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
Vitamin E Helps Treat Common Liver Disease
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
Daily Exercise at School Yields Rewards
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Heal Your LifeŽ Tips for Living Well
Meditation May Boost College Students' Learning
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
SENIORS
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Seniors Who Volunteer May Live Longer
Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Air Pollution Slows Women's Marathon Times
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Toxins May Form When Skin, Indoor Ozone Meet

(HealthDay News) -- Oil found naturally on human skin can "trap" large amounts of indoor ozone, then "spit" it out in the form of chemicals that may irritate the skin and the lungs, new research suggests.

"They are saying that compounds on the skin react to the ozone and cause more irritation to the skin," explained one expert, Rajat Sethi, an assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences at Texas A&M Health Science Center's Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy in Kingsville. "They have identified those compounds."

But the findings are not cause for major concern yet, according to the study, which is published in the Aug. 17 issue of Proceedings of the National Academies of Science.

"I would say this is not very alarming at this point," said study co-lead author Charles J. Weschler, an adjunct professor at the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey in Piscataway. "This chemistry has been going on since the dawn of man. As long as humans have existed, they've existed with ozone, and this chemistry has been occurring," said Weschler, who is also a member of the faculty of the Technical University of Denmark in Copenhagen. He wrote the paper with Armin Wisthaler of Leopold-Franzens University, Innsbruck, Austria.

While copious amounts of research have pointed to the negative health effects of outdoor ozone, little is known about indoor ozone or ground-level ozone, especially about its effects on humans.

"We're talking about ozone that people breathe, that people come in contact with, as opposed to ozone up in the stratosphere that protects us from the sun," Weschler explained.

Ozone can travel indoors through ventilation systems and open windows, or it can sweat off of office equipment, such as poorly working photocopiers or laser printers.

"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has claimed that indoor ozone exposure may be 100 times more than outdoor exposure," noted Sethi, who presented a paper at a recent American Heart Association meeting that linked outdoor ozone with an increased risk of ischemic attack and angina.

In their study, Weschler and Wisthaler used "proton transfer reaction-mass spectrometry" to analyze compounds released into the air by the interaction of human skin oil and ozone.

When squalene, the most common fat and antioxidant found on the human skin, from just one person interacted with ozone, this could reduce ozone concentrations in a small room by 10 to 25 percent, the team found.

Byproducts of this skin-ozone interaction are later released back into the environment.

"Some of these products are benign, something like acetone or fingernail-polish remover. Some of these compounds have not been identified before in terms of this chemistry, but we don't expect them to pose much of a health concern simply because of their structure," Weschler said. On the other hand, "some of these compounds may be a health concern, but toxicity studies have yet to be done," he added.

Besides the skin, reactions occur on objects where squalene was left by a person's touch, such as furniture or computer equipment.

The research also revealed that squalene and not vitamin E, as was previously thought, is the main antioxidant protecting the skin from ozone. "Squalene has been doing the heavy lifting when it comes to protecting us from the ozone," Wechsler said.

"Some of these products [resulting from the interaction] we inhale and some stay on our skin," he added. "Toxicologists will be looking more closely at what some of the potential health effects are."

One expert noted that the latest research sheds more light on ozone's harmful effects.

"Ozone by itself is harmful straight out, and we've known for some time that ozone indoors reacts with a variety of things," said Janice Nolen, assistant vice president of national policy and advocacy at the American Lung Association. This study "tells us more about how ozone can affect us and reinforces why we don't want ozone indoors," she said.

Nolen advised against using products that produce ozone, such as air-purifying devices. "If it's a mechanism with a filter of some kind, then you're not going to be producing ozone," she said. "If you're using something that uses electric static or a chemical process, the odds are that you're going to be producing ozone."

But even filtering, she added, "is limited in its ability to help clean up indoor air."

SOURCES: Charles J. Weschler, Ph.D., adjunct professor, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Piscataway, and faculty member, Technical University of Denmark, Copenhagen; Rajat Sethi, Ph.D., assistant professor, pharmaceutical sciences, Texas A&M Health Science Center, Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy, Kingsville; Janice Nolen, assistant vice president, national policy and advocacy, American Lung Association, Washington, D.C.; Aug. 17-21, 2009, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences