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Nanotechnology: Product Labels Don’t Always Disclose Nanomaterials
Shoppers looking to avoid cosmetic and personal care items with nanoingredients may find the task easier said than done, according to an October 2008 report by Consumers Union (Yonkers, NY).
The report found that four out of five sunscreens claiming not to contain nanoparticles actually did contain them. All four sunscreens were also labeled as natural or organic.
A previous Consumers Union report on sunscreens in 2007 found nanoparticles in eight out of eight samples. Only one of those sunscreens disclosed the presence of nanoparticles on its label.
“The widespread use of nanoparticles of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide in sunscreen is involving consumers in a vast experiment as to the safety of these products,” Michael Hansen, PhD, senior scientist at Consumers Union, said on October 31. “These very tiny nanosized particles are known to have different properties than the conventional versions of these chemicals, and could be harmful to health.”
The new report prompted the group to ask FDA to conduct a full-scale safety review of the use of nanoparticles in sunscreen.
“FDA should require safety data for all these nanoparticles,” Hansen says. “At the very least, they should require companies to be truthful about whether or not they are using nanoingredients.”
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