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Home > News > Nanoparticles Block UV Rays and Stop Mold, but 'the Environment Is the Guinea Pig'

February 18th, 2010

Nanoparticles Block UV Rays and Stop Mold, but 'the Environment Is the Guinea Pig'

Abstract:
Seated in a crowded conference center in Research Triangle Park, N.C., last fall, some 50 chemical industry scientists, university researchers, consumer advocates, government regulators and this reporter pored through the known safety data on nanoscale titanium dioxide, (abbreviated as nano-TiO2). It is a chemical commonly used in sunscreens, cosmetics and food packaging. While these tiny compounds are assisting "mold prevention" and "interfering with UV reflection," this advisory group considered what unanticipated impact the man-made microscopic compounds might also be having on the health of human beings or the environment.

The group, convened and paid by the Environmental Protection Agency, was charged with developing a strategy to study the effects of nano-TiO2, a virtually invisible form of titanium dioxide. The experts weren't trying to determine whether nano-TiO2 is safe for humans when it is inhaled or absorbed through the skin, or whether it is dangerous to fish and wildlife when the microscopic element enters the water system and soil. The purpose of the gathering was merely to calculate how EPA might begin to answer such questions.

EPA is now developing regulations to increase reporting of products with nano Silver, nano Silicon and other nanoparticles, and is seeking what it dubs a data call-in of safety and health test data, under the antiquated 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act. EPA has received at least 90 new chemical notifications for all types of nanomaterials, and has proposed significant new use regulations for more than 50 chemicals.

Source:
politicsdaily.com

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