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Tagged : nanoparticles


EPA to study nanoparticles’ potential for good and evil

October 1st, 2009

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

Squint and you can’t see them. Try a standard microscope. They’re still not there.

And yet, they’re everywhere. Nanoparticles are in hundreds, if not thousands, of consumer products, from sunscreen to child car seats to sports socks.

So the EPA has decided to take a closer look at these eensy particles, to investigate their potential to harm humans and the environment.

Nanos, which are about 1/100,000 of the width of a human hair and have been aggregating in consumer goods faster than E coli at a feed lot, have raised concerns among environmentalists, public health officials and others. These guardians of the environment want to know more about how nanos act in water. air and soil, and also whether they can invade and damage human tissue.

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Don’t get burned, use sunscreens without nanoparticles

May 18th, 2009

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

Summer just got more complicated. Now, in addition to watching out for skin-withering UV rays, you may want to examine your sunscreens for nanoparticles.

Nanoparticles might sound like the smaller (even tiny!) issue here, compared with the serious matter of protecting yourself from skin cancer with adequate sunscreen.

Here’s why some people believe you need to worry about both the sun and the nanos. Some research shows that nanos release free radicals that are activated by UV exposure.

Here’s what a March 2009 advisory from Friends of the Earth reports:

“Scientific studies have shown that nanoparticles of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide commonly used in sunscreens and cosmetics can produce free radicals, damage DNA and cause cell toxicity, especially when exposed to UV light. The concern is that rather than offering

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Studies show nanoparticles used in sunscreens and makeup can harm the environment

March 26th, 2009

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

Nanoparticles used in sunscreens and cosmetics may be harmful to the environment, according to U.S. scientists who have been studying the effects of nanos on living organisms.

Two separate studies, by researchers at the University of Toledo and at Utah State University and the University of Utah, found that the nanoparticles had powerful harmful effects on bacteria and a certain type of beneficial soil microbes.

The findings, released this week, were reported at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Salt Lake City. They are likely to fuel debate over the safe use of nanoparticles and concerns that consumers lack important information about the nano-engineering behind hundreds of personal care products already on the market.

“We have no assurance that they’re effective and we have no assurance that they’re safe either,” said Ian Illuminato, an advocate with Friends of the Earth, which wants the U.S. to require disclosure on products using nanoparticles.

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UCLA: Tiniest Pollutants May Be Most Heart-Harmful

January 17th, 2008

By John DeFore A study released today by researchers at UCLA holds more bad news for those concerned with the effects of auto emissions: Nanoparticles (those on the scale of a virus or molecule), which are so small they can’t be filtered by existing technology, may not simply harm our lungs — they may actually [...]

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