Non-Nano Titanium and Zinc Dioxide UV Filters

The industrial manufacturer, Kobo, just began producing a line of non-nano, titanium and zinc dioxide UV filters intended for use as sunscreen additives.  This initiative was precipitated in response to the company’s establishment that many contemporary consumers have concerns about the potential health risks that can result from utilizing nano particles as additives to sunscreen. 

The scientific application of Nanotechnology is to cut the particles that form chemicals down to just 100 nanometers thick, which is about 1/100,000 of a sheet of paper’s density.  Due to nano particles smaller size compared with human blood vessels, these particles have the ability to absorb into the skin more rapidly and deeply than typical chemicals can. 

Anxieties have been voiced by a variety of sources regarding nanotechnology’s rising application without proper regard for safety testing.  Some studies have determined that these minute particles are unlikely to penetrate the skin’s protective barrier into unsafe territory inside the body.  However, other researchers have concluded that nano particles do permeate these structures.  Other studies have shown that nano particles can build up inside human bodily organs.  Animal research infers that the nano particles can even invade the immune system and accumulate in the blood, brain, nerves, and bodily cells.  

In an American UCLA study, researchers’ findings were that a possible cancer and genetic disorder risk exists for those working with elevated concentrations of Titanium Dioxide nano particles.  It’s been advised that consumers should avoid spray-on sunscreens that contain the additive as inhilation of these particles may be unsafe.   Scientists have determined that more human study is necessary to adequately understand the effect of Titanium Dioxide nano particles on human health.  A team conducting research for the EPA will be conducting an investigation on the use of titanium dioxide’s use in sunscreen. 

It’s clear that labeling requirements of nano particles aren’t required in most countries.  Therefore, most consumers are likely uninformed about what nano particles are present in products.  The United Kingdom government’s reaction towards nanotechnology’s application in consumer products was released in March 2010, and is dedicated to enforcing the mandatory labeling of cosmetics that contain nano particles by 2013.

Sun Protection

However, the British government has been criticized for avoiding vital issues surrounding nanotechnologies, such as the need for a mandatory regulatory system and bridging research gaps.  Their plan was set to establish a clear trajectory

to propel this technology forward, but contrary to this goal, the government only repeated what citizens had already been told and failed to take action on many concerns among citizens.  

In some countries the debate on nanotechnology safety has even become volatile.  In France, the environmental organization, Pieces et Main d’Oeuvre (PTO), have protested at gatherings held to debate this type of technology with consistency. Held in October 2009 to January 2010 and arranged by the Commission of Public Debates, the PTO has disrupted meetings, asserting that all vital decisions had been made. 

A warning was issued by Germany’s Federal Environment Agency (UBA) against using products that contain nano particles due to the unknown risk to the environment.  The UBA purports that significant holes exist in nanotechnology study data and a concern for human and environmental health still exists even though Germany established a commission for nanotechnology.  The UBA holds that the initial step in regulating nano particles should be mandatory labeling and a register that lists all products that contain nano particles.  

A recent Northern Ireland Biomedical Science Institute study exhibited a potential association between brain disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Diseases and nano particles.  Consumers must be provided with transparent product labeling at the very least to aid them in making informed choices about the use of products that contain nano particles. 

Rising nano particles quantities are depositing themselves into waste-water streams.  Additionally, it is found among industrial waste.  It’s ambiguous whether nano particles interact with contemporary waste water treatment systems.  Due to the concern about nanotechnology among consumers, researchers, and scientists, it’s imperative that the world’s governments and health authorities offer measures to ensure product safety for all.

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