The use of nanotechnology in consumer products continues to grow rapidly. Today it can be found in over 1300 products including cosmetics, clothing, sports rackets, computers, and non-stick cookware. Common nanoparticles found in consumer products include silver, zinc oxide, titanium oxide and carbon nanotubes.
Studies suggest nanotechnology ingredients in cosmetics pose serious health risks to the women wearing them. Nanoparticles are incredibly small ‘ measured in nanometres (nm), or one-billionth of a meter. They are found in cosmetics, moisturisers, and some sunscreens, and are used to increase products’ penetration into the skin. Concerns have been raised that if nanoparticles are absorbed into living skin cells they could increase the risk of skin cancer.
Testing commissioned by Friends of the Earth, found nanoparticles in foundations and concealers sold by 10 top name brands ‘ including Christian Dior, Revlon, and Yves Saint Laurent. Only one of these, Christian Dior, labelled its use of nano ingredients. Companies are not legally required to test the safety of nanoparticles before using them in products, or to label their products as containing nano ingredients.
In July 2012 Friends of the Earth launched ACCC complaints accusing two Australian companies of misleading and deceptive conduct for marketing nano sunscreen as ‘non-nano’ and ‘nanoparticle-free’.
- See the latest Friends of the Earth report – Nano-ingredients in sunscreen – the need for regulation
- Take action to campaign for better labeling on nano in suncreens http://nano.foe.org.au/