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American Chemical Society weekly presspac -- June 10, 2009
Date:6/15/2009

Here is the latest American Chemical Society (ACS) Weekly PressPac from the Office of Public Affairs. It has news from ACS' 34 peer-reviewed journals and Chemical & Engineering News.

Please credit the individual journal or the American Chemical Society as the source for this information.`

PressPac Archive:http://portal.acs.org/portal/PublicWebSite/pressroom/presspacs/CTP_006742

ARTICLE #1 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New tests: Marijuana damages DNA and may cause cancer
Chemical Research in Toxicology

Using a highly sensitive new test, scientists in Europe are reporting "convincing evidence" that marijuana smoke damages the genetic material DNA in ways that could increase the risk of cancer. Their study is scheduled for the June 15 issue of ACS' Chemical Research in Toxicology, a monthly journal.

Rajinder Singh and colleagues note that toxic substances in tobacco smoke can damage DNA and increase the risk of lung and other cancers. However, there has been uncertainty over whether marijuana smoke has the same effect. Scientists are especially concerned about the toxicity of acetaldehyde, present in both tobacco and marijuana. However, it has been difficult to measure DNA damage from acetaldehyde with conventional tests.

The scientists describe development and use of a modified mass spectrometry method that showed clear indications that marijuana smoke damages DNA. "In conclusion, these results provide evidence for the DNA damaging potential of cannabis [marijuana] smoke, implying that the consumption of cannabis cigarettes may be detrimental to human health with the possibility to initiate cancer development," the article states. "The data obtained from this study suggesting the DNA damaging potential of cannabis smoke highlight the need for stringent regulation of the consumption of canna
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Contact: Michael Woods
m_woods@acs.org
202-872-6293
American Chemical Society
Source:Eurekalert  

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