We evaluated the safety of water-soluble polymer-enwrapped fullerenes (PVP/fullerenes) as antioxidants in cosmetic and pharmaceutical preparations by studying the genotoxicity, phototoxicity, and pro-oxidant effects of these fullerenes. These materials were not mutagenic to any of the tested bacterial strains and did not induce chromosomal aberrations in cultured mammalian cells. The PVP/fullerenes did not exhibit cytotoxicity under ultraviolet or sham irradiation in the alternative phototoxicity test. Moreover, they did not show any pro-oxidant effect in the presence of Fe2+ or Cu2+. Thus, we concluded that PVP/fullerenes are safe for use in cosmetic and pharmaceutical applications. This is the first study in which toxicity tests were performed on PVP/fullerenes.
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