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Oliver Bennett
Oliver Bennett


As the first discovered gaseous signaling molecule, nitric oxide (NO) affects a number of cellular processes, including those involving vascular cells. This brief review summarizes the contribution of NO to the regulation of vascular tone and its sources in the blood vessel wall. NO regulates the degree of contraction of vascular smooth muscle cells mainly by stimulating soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) to produce cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), although cGMP-independent signaling [S-nitrosylation of target proteins, activation of sarco/endoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase (SERCA) or production of cyclic inosine monophosphate (cIMP)] also can be involved. In the blood vessel wall, NO is produced mainly from l-arginine by the enzyme endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) but it can also be released non-enzymatically from S-nitrosothiols or from nitrate/nitrite. Dysfunction in the production and/or the bioavailability of NO characterizes endothelial dysfunction, which is associated with cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension and atherosclerosis.


Iron oxide materials yield pigments that are nontoxic, nonbleeding, weather resistant, and lightfast. Natural iron oxides include a combination of one or more ferrous or ferric oxides, and impurities, such as manganese, clay, or organics. Synthetic iron oxides can be produced in various ways, including thermal decomposition of iron salts, such as ferrous sulfate, to produce reds; precipitation to produce yellows, reds, browns, and blacks (e.g., the Penniman-Zoph process); and reduction of organic compounds by iron (e.g., nitrobenzene reduced to aniline in the presence of particular chemicals) to produce yellows and blacks. Reds can be produced by calcining either yellow or blacks.

It is commonly used by dentists and medical professionals to sedate patients undergoing minor medical procedures.1 It is also a food additive when used as a propellant for whipped cream, and is used in the automotive industry to enhance engine performance. It is also increasingly being used to treat people withdrawing from alcohol dependence. Nitrous oxide is classified as a dissociative anaesthetic and has been found to produce dissociation of the mind from the body (a sense of floating), distorted perceptions and in rare cases, visual hallucinations.2

The gas is inhaled, typically by discharging nitrous gas cartridges (bulbs or whippets) into another object, such as a balloon, or directly into the mouth.3 Inhaling nitrous oxide produces a rapid rush of euphoria and feeling of floating or excitement for a short period of time.3

There is no current evidence demonstrating that mixing nitrous oxide with other substances increases health risks. However, it is possible that combining the gas with stimulants and other drugs places additional pressure on the heart, increases blood pressure and may disrupt heart rate.5

When inhaling directly from tanks or whippets (bulbs), the gas is intensely cold (-40C degrees) and can cause frostbite to the nose, lips and throat (including vocal cords).5,10 As the gas is also under constant pressure, it can cause ruptures in lung tissue when inhaled directly from these containers. Releasing the nitrous oxide into a balloon helps to warm the gas and normalise the pressure before inhaling.5,8

According to the Australian Trends in Ecstasy and Related Drug Markets 2016 Survey, around one third (36%) of a sample of people who regularly use ecstasy and related drugs reported recent nitrous oxide use in the six months preceding the survey. This is considerably higher than 2015 results (26%). Use was highest in Victoria (62%).10

EPA hosted a virtual Lakewood community meeting on Sept. 22, 2022. EPA presented their 2022 ethylene oxide risk modeling analysis for the Terumo BCT Sterilization Services facility. This map outlines the area EPA estimates to have greater than 100 in a million estimated lifetime cancer risk from breathing air containing ethylene oxide from the facility. This estimate is a worst-case scenario based on an individual breathing outdoor air 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 70 years. Actual risk depends on how close people are, how much ethylene oxide they breathe, and how long they are in this area. These estimates cannot predict whether an individual person will develop cancer, but indicate an elevated risk based on the exposure outlined above.

Ethylene oxide is a chemical used to sterilize heat-sensitive medical equipment. Ethylene oxide also is used when making antifreeze, textiles, detergents and other products, and to disinfect spices and tobacco products.

EPA is reviewing its current air regulations that limit the amount of ethylene oxide certain types of industries release into the outdoor air to determine whether legal standards for ethylene oxide emissions to air can be further strengthened. EPA also is working with state, local, and tribal air agency partners, and with companies, to identify opportunities to reduce emissions faster than national regulations can achieve.

Magnesium is an element your body needs to function normally. Magnesium oxide may be used for different reasons. Some people use it as an antacid to relieve heartburn, sour stomach, or acid indigestion. Magnesium oxide also may be used as a laxative for short-term, rapid emptying of the bowel (before surgery, for example). It should not be used repeatedly. Magnesium oxide also is used as a dietary supplement when the amount of magnesium in the diet is not enough. Magnesium oxide is available without a prescription.

Magnesium oxide comes as a tablet and capsule to take by mouth. It usually is taken one to four times daily depending on which brand is used and what condition you have. Follow the directions on the package or on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take magnesium oxide exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

If you are taking magnesium oxide on a regular schedule, take the missed dose as soon you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

The graphs show globally-averaged, monthly mean atmospheric nitrous oxide abundance determined from marine surface sites. The first graph shows monthly means for the last four years plus the current year, and the second graph shows the NOAA time-series starting in 2001, when we have confidence in the data. Values for the last year are preliminary pending recalibrations of standard gases and other quality control steps. Other impacts on the latest few months of data are described below.

An exhaled nitric oxide level test can help diagnose and manage asthma. It measures the amount of nitric oxide that is exhaled from a breath. Increased levels of nitric oxide are associated with swelling of lung airways. This test can be used to determine whether someone being treated for asthma is responding well to certain medications.

A higher than normal level of nitric oxide means that there is inflammation (swelling) in the lining of the airways, or could mean that you have allergic asthma. Inflammation typically responds well to corticosteroid therapy.

On 29 June, 30 June and 13 July 2021, food and feed crisis coordinators meetings took place regarding the detection of ethylene oxide residues in food additive (E410). 041b061a72


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