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PABA (PAH-buh)

Para-aminobenzoic acid
Common clues: Sunscreen ingredient; Sunscreen acronym; Skin cream ingredient; UV filter in sunscreen; Sunscreen letters; Sunscreen stuff; Former sunscreen ingredient
Crossword puzzle frequency: once a year
Frequency in English language: 44291 / 86800
Everybody is free to wear sunscreen

4-Aminobenzoic acid, para-aminobenzoic acid, or simply PABA, is an organic compound with molecular formula C7H7NO2. PABA is a white crystalline substance that is only slightly soluble in water. It consists of a benzene ring substituted with an amino group and a carboxylic acid.

In the past, PABA has been widely used as UV filter in sunscreen formulations. However, it has been determined that it increases the formation of a particular DNA defect in human cells, thus increasing the risk of skin cancer in people who lack the mechanisms to repair these cellular defects. Currently, safer and more effective derivatives of PABA, such as octyl dimethyl PABA, are more commonly used.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "PABA".