Skin irritation and histopathologic alterations in rats exposed to lightstick contents, UV radiation and seawater
Ivar do Sul, JA, Rodrigues, O, Santos, IR, Fillmann, G & Matthiensen, A 2009, 'Skin irritation and histopathologic alterations in rats exposed to lightstick contents, UV radiation and seawater', Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, vol. 72, no. 7, pp. 2020-2024.
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Lightsticks are fishing gadgets that provide fluorescent lighting when two organic solutions are mixed. In NE Brazil, low-income coastal residents ignore their conventional use and collect lightsticks stranded on beaches. The lightstick solution is then used for various purposes, including direct human skin exposure. We assessed the reactions and possible cell damages on the skin of Wistar rats. Animals were exposed to lightstick contents, UV radiation and/or seawater. Lightstick exposure led to erythemas, oedemas and vesicles. Histopathologic alterations included proliferation of the epidermis and inflammatory infiltrates. In spite of the short time of experimentation (4 days), the rats exposed to the lightstick content alone and together with UV radiation and/or seawater provided evidence of irritation/alteration reactions that may evolve into skin cancer. Our results demonstrated a few of the potential problems associated with lightstick dumping into the ocean and highlight the need for further investigations about this new type of marine pollutant.