Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > CNS-UCSB Researcher Reacts to Report on Sunscreen Threat to Human Health

Abstract:
In light of Friends of the Earth's report yesterday on sunscreens' potential to cause harm to human health and the lack of industry oversight by the government, CNS-UCSB Researcher and UC Santa Barbara Professor of Political Science Bruce Bimber today issued the following statement:

CNS-UCSB Researcher Reacts to Report on Sunscreen Threat to Human Health

SANTA BARBARA, CA | Posted on August 15th, 2007

"Friends of the Earth is correct that governments do not require disclosure of manufactured nanoparticles in sunscreens, or other consumer products for that matter. The group is also correct that little is known about which of the many forms of nanoscale materials might be toxic to humans or harmful to the environment. A big reason why so many companies are bringing products to market with nano in them is that nanoscale materials behave in really novel and potentially useful ways compared with their larger-scale incarnations. But novel properties also mean the possibility of unpredictable consequences for human health and the environment. That in a nutshell is the increasingly urgent issue for policymakers.

"Some manufacturers of nanotechnologies, as well as some researchers working on the basic science, are probably going to call Friends of the Earth's report overstated or even alarmist. One predictable response to Friends of the Earth will be that we do not have solid evidence that nanoparticles in sunscreens are unsafe, so it is wrong to warn consumers against products. But Friends of the Earth is not alone saying that the real point is that we do not know that these particles are safe - all we know is that they belong to a class of materials with surprising properties whose behavior in the human environment is not well understood yet. The Royal Society in the United Kingdom is on record expressing concern about manufactured nanoparticles also, as are a number of other expert groups, such as the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency are both discussing the kinds of issues raised by Friends of the Earth, though the group is right that neither shows much of an inclination to issue regulations.

"So this report constitutes a worthwhile step in advancing public debate about the safety of chemicals in cosmetics. The group has done consumers a service by simply contacting manufacturers and asking them a straightforward question: Are there manufactured nanoparticles in your product? Their report shows how companies responded.

"Some of the background to the Friends of the Earth report is that they, along with several dozen other organizations, have called for application of the Precautionary Principle to manufactured nanoparticles and other applications of nano. This idea is that corporations bringing products to market where there is some uncertainty regarding health and safety should have to prove to regulators that their products are not harmful before the products are sold. The way things stand now, nanotechnologies can be sold unlabeled, and if it turns out that one or another formulation is harmful to consumers, then the public, manufacturers, and perhaps government will deal with the situation after the face. Some worst-case illustrations of that scenario are asbestos and lead in paint. Some people feel there may be another asbestos-like material in the nanotechnology labs; other people think that likelihood is overstated. Whichever turns out to be true, this is a good time for the public and for regulators to debate the issue, and for corporations to be transparent about what they are selling."

Science Background

Nanotechnology is the manipulation of materials on a very small scale. One nanometer is one billionth of a meter. By comparison, DNA is two nanometers wide, a red blood cell is 10,000 nanometers wide, and a single strand of hair is 100,000 nanometers thick. Nanotechnology holds great potential in virtually every sector of the economy, including electronics, medicine, and energy.

####

About CNS-UCSB
The mission of the Center for Nanotechnology in Society (CNS) at the University of California, Santa Barbara is to serve as a national research and education center, a network hub among researchers and educators concerned with nanotechnologiesí societal impacts, and a resource base for studying these impacts in the U.S. and abroad.

The CNS carries out innovative and interdisciplinary research in three key areas:

∑ the historical context of nanotechnologies;

∑ the institutional and industrial processes of technological innovation of nanotechnologies along with their global diffusion and comparative impacts; and

∑ the social risk perception and response to different applications of nanotechnologies.

The CNS is funded by an award from the National Science Foundation.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Valerie Walston
(805) 893-8850
Bruce Bimber
(805) 893-3860

Copyright © CNS-UCSB

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Announcements

Sandia researchers make solid ground toward better lithium-ion battery interfaces: Reducing the traffic jam in batteries December 13th, 2017

Perking up and crimping the 'bristles' of polyelectrolyte brushes December 13th, 2017

Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure: Researchers are the first to observe the electronic structure of graphene in an engineered semiconductor; finding could lead to progress in advanced optoelectronics and data processing December 13th, 2017

Leti to Demo Wristband with Embedded Sensors to Diagnose Sleep Apnea: APNEAband, Which Will Be Demonstrated at CES 2018, Also Monitors Mountain Sickness, Dehydration, Dialysis Treatment Response and Epileptic Seizures December 12th, 2017

Personal Care/Cosmetics

Programmable materials find strength in molecular repetition May 23rd, 2016

Common nanoparticle has subtle effects on oxidative stress genes May 11th, 2016

NRL reveals novel uniform coating process of p-ALD April 21st, 2016

New ORNL method could unleash solar power potential March 16th, 2016

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

How harmful are nano-copper and anti-fungal combinations in the waterways? October 27th, 2017

Do titanium dioxide particles from orthopedic implants disrupt bone repair? September 16th, 2017

Tests show no nanotubes released during utilisation of nanoaugmented materials June 9th, 2017

NanoMONITOR shares its latest developments concerning the NanoMONITOR Software and the Monitoring stations April 21st, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project