Monday, 18 June 2012

Nanoengineered Nanoparticles in Consumer Goods

Through regulation, all players win and nobody loses.


Proceeding with the approach initiated in my article "The Roots of Nano-Fear Decoded"I will address in this article other nanotoxicology topic: consumer goods containing nanoengineered nanoparticles. Later on, I will attempt to point out ways and propose solutions in order fight and prevent nanotoxicity.


This theme is vast.

It has been developed numerous, 
responsible and meritorious studies in the field of scientific research in nanotoxicology. However, the need for knowledge in this field is enormous. What has been done is too little when compared with what is still needed.

Since there is a large gap in scientific knowledge concerning nanotoxicology and nanotoxicity, the emergence of new nanoengineered nanoparticles introduced many and new questions and challenges regarding the risks and benefits:

  • To the living organisms (including Humans);
  • And to the environment.

The nanoscale size of those nanoparticles, associated with their highly increased surface area available for reactions allows them to penetrate the biological structures, enventually interfering with their normal function. Of course, this interference, when occurs may be nanotoxic or beneficial. 

Scientifically evidence-based proofs are the only way to demonstrate the nanotoxicological or benefical effets of each specific nanoengineered nanoparticle, for each specific set of physiological conditions.

Nanoengineered Nanoparticles in Consumer Goods

There are consumer goods being 
sold as commercial products containing nanoengineered nanoparticles in their composition.

Regarding the possible toxic, harmless or beneficial effect of these nanoparticles to users, the information available to the general public is, in some cases absent or poor and vague.

These consumer products fall into several categories, regarding the use by consumers and the intended purposes.

However, there is a group of consumer goods already introduced into the commercial channels that has been a particular target of debate: cosmetics, sunscreens and personal care products. Follow some examples: 

  • Deodorants;
  • Soaps;
  • Toothpastes;
  • Shampoos;
  • Hair conditioners;
  • Sunscreens;
  • Anti-wrinkle creams;
  • Lipsticks;
  • Blushes;
  • Eye shadows; 
  • Nail polishes;
  • Perfumes;
  • After-shave lotions.

At this point, I want to express my personal opinion on this subject (and I want to make my position clear): the presence of nanoengineered nanoparticles in consumer goods is not necessarily harmful, as has been published in a sensationalist way in non-specialized press (especially in a minority of non-specialized press).

I even admit that a significant percentage (or even the most) of these manufacturers have conducted tests in their laboratories in order to ascertain the nanotoxicity or the beneficial effects of these nanoengineered nanoparticles and the results have confirmed its safety. it is common to hear in television ads
 a phrase like "after tests conducted in our laboratories ...".

I even admit that a significant percentage 
(or even the most) of these manufacturers has contracted independent external laboratories to carry out tests in order to determine the nanotoxicity or the beneficial effects of these nanoengineered nanoparticles and the results have confirmed its safety. It is also common to hear in television ads a phrase like "after tests conducted by independent laboratories highly accredited ...".

However, given the poor and vague (or totally nonexistent) information provided to consumers about the safety of these nanoengineered nanoparticles in some products and given the noise made by some non-specialized media, the climate of suspicion and fear was installed in a few layers of populations.

Therefore, two questions arise:
  • How can consumers rely on the laboratory test results?
  • How can consumers rely on the quality of these products?

In my personal opinion, there is only one answer: through regulation.

These products will
inevitably need to be tested in the laboratory, being these tests closely monitored by regulatory authorities.

If the different tests are supervised by regulators and the results are approved, then consumers can use these products safely and confidently.

If the different tests - monitored by regulators - are disapproved, then the products must be removed immediately from the market. These manufacturers must reformulate their not approved consumer goods, in order to improve them to the point of being beneficial for consumers. Again, new tests, once approved, will give credibility and confidence to their use by consumers.

Thereby, through regulation, ends the climate of suspicion and fear regarding the introduction of nanotoxic nanoengineered nanoparticles into the skin of consumers and into the environment.

Regulation will put an end to all doubts that perhaps exist: everything will be crystal clear and transparent with regard to this subject. Through regulation, all players win and nobody loses. I highlight here some of the many advantages:
  • Citizens are reassured and start to consume these products with confidence;
  • This sector is no longer subject to debate and its credibility rises to an even higher level;
  • Regulatory authorities demonstrate once again that they are actively monitoring the toxicity risks of society and respond positively and in accordance;
  • The nano-fear decreases significantly, walking this way to fade (if additional measures are taken in other fields).

Personally, I admit that these nanoengineered nanoparticles are quite beneficial. But there is nothing like demonstrating this fact to consumers around the world, with the guarantee of the accuracy of regulatory authorities.

"The Wonders and Worries of NANOTECHNOLOGY" Video

On February 7, 2012 was published on YouTube a video titled "The Wonders and Worries of NANOTECHNOLOGY". This great video was directed and produced jointly by:

This video is simply a "must". "The Wonders and Worries of NANOTECHNOLOGY" is a short video (4 min. and 33 sec.) which aims (according to its co-directors and co-producers - and I agree) to aid in the discussion of the societal and ethical implications of nanotechnology.

In my opinion is well worth watching this video several times, due to the extremely important message that transmits. 
In order to present a practical example of real life, face creams and skin care products as a whole are referred. The video also focuses on promoting debate of the societal and ethical implication of nanotechnology. As the narrator states, "whenever a new technology emerges, it is necessary to evaluate the risks against the benefits".


bharatbook said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ross Taylor said...

The Nanoenginnered was first study in science on the Humans living organism and the environment. They challenges regarding the risks and benefits. After that they study in consumer goods, hey target on cosmetics, sunscreens and personal care products. Day by day they research on consumer goods, like they presence consumer goods are not harmful. Business Report

Bureau said...

I really like getting customer reviews. I think it's one of my preferred factors, learning what individuals have to say about the item and then trying to create it better. Consumer Goods

Luis Bastos said...

Thanks por your positive comment.
--Luís Bastos

preeti said...

use of nano technology is increasing day by day. nano particles have various usage. it is used in medical, cosmetic and chemical industries.
there are different types of nano particles like cobalt nanoparticles, copper nano particles,aluminum nanoparticles,nickel nanoparticles

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