Sunscreen And Sunbeds Targeted

Possible harm done by both sunbeds and sunscreens are in focus this week.

In the same week that a Dáil Minister indicated she would ban sunbeds altogether if regulations permit, academics north of the border are investigating the possibility that the use of sunscreen - to protect from cancer - may induce Alzheimer's.

The University of Ulster yesterday said two of it experts have been given substantial funding by the European Union to explore possible links between the sunscreen and the often fatal degenerative brain disease.

Professor Vyvyan Howard, a pathologist and toxicologist, and Dr Christian Holster, an expert in Alzheimer's, have been awarded £350,000 from the EU to carry out a three-year research project.

They are leading research into whether human engineered nanoparticles, such as those found in sunscreen, can induce neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

The University of Ulster experts will be specifically looking at nanoparticles present in chemicals found in sunscreens and an additive in some diesel fuels - titanium dioxide and cerium oxide - and their connection to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

Their groundbreaking research at the Biomedical Sciences Institute in Coleraine is part of a worldwide project called NeuroNano.

Meanwhile, as sunscreen's use to cut down on possible cancer-causing effects of sunlight on the skin is being tackled, the Irish Republic's Health Minister Mary Harney said she would like to see a total ban on the use of 'artificial sunlight', for tanning.

She wants to ban sunbeds in Ireland outright to reduce the risk of cancer.

Speaking at a global cancer summit in Dublin on Monday, the minister said she has asked her department to see if such a ban is possible, as EU approval would be required.

Ms Harney also said that although there will be a significant reduction in health spending next year cancer will be a priority.


Related Irish News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

03 September 2012
Call For Women To Raise Funds For Cancer
The Irish Cancer Society is calling on every woman in Ireland to come together and Get the Girls doing something throughout the months of September and October to combat breast cancer.
22 September 2011
300,000 Women Benefit From Free Cancer Checks
Free cervical cancer checks in Ireland have helped diagnose over 100 women. More than 300,000 free cervical cancer checks were carried out in Ireland between September 2009 and August 2010. Out of these, 145 women were diagnosed with the disease.
01 September 2011
50% Rise In Irish Cancer Cases
The number of cancer cases in Ireland has increased by almost 50% since the mid 90s. Despite this shocking jump in cases it has been stated that the survival rates are also improving. A survey carried out by the National Cancer Registry has revealed these new statistics.
23 August 2013
Socioeconomic Inequalities Identified In Uptake Of Cervical Cancer Screening
A working paper published by NUI Galway economists points to important differences in uptake of cervical cancer screening. The study compared uptake of cervical cancer screening in Ireland, Northern Ireland, England and the US.
17 December 2012
Cancer Patients Need Cash Support To Pay For Necessities
An increasing number of cancer patients going through treatment need to ask the Irish Cancer Society for cash support to pay for necessities like heat and travel expenses.