2008-01-19 15:55:01 UTC
11:25am, 15th January 2008
The SA wants to prevent nanparticles getting under your skin.
Gemma Taylor writes
Leading cosmetics brands, including Boots, Lancome and LOreal, are
using nanomaterials (in selected products) that the Soil Association
(SA) has today announced it has banned in all its certified organic
products, due to safety concerns.
From this month, the ban applies particularly to health and beauty
products, but also to food and textiles. The SA is the first
organisation in the world to take action against nanotechnology.
A 2004 report,
commissioned by the Government, recommended; the release of
nanoparticles should be avoided as far as possible, labelling of
consumer products, and that research be conducted into the toxicity of
nanoparticles and nanotubes.
Despite agreeing with the reports conclusions,
no regulations have been adopted. A voluntary industry labelling
scheme is being developed, with which the SA is involved, but under a
voluntary scheme, no label doesnt guarantee no nano.
While the SA recognises there may be benefits from nanotechnology - in
the area of medicine for example - some initial studies have shown
negative effects. Research has shown that nano-sized titanium dioxide
- which makes the sunscreen transparent and therefore more marketable
- might be toxic to various types of cell, can enter the brain and
may trigger cell death.
Professor Vyvyan Howard, nanotechnology researcher at University of
Ulster, said: The term nanotechnology covers a vast range of
applications. Many are not threatening at all, such as nano-structured
surfaces for self cleaning glass. But in the areas of health and
beauty and food more research must be done. There is considerable
evidence that nanoparticles are toxic and potentially hazardous.
Gundula Azeez, Soil Association policy manager, believes: There
should be an immediate freeze on the commercial release of
nanomaterials until there is a sound body of scientific research into
all the health impacts. As we saw with GM, the government is ignoring
the initial indications of risk and giving the benefit of the doubt to
commercial interest rather than the protection of human health.
The race for nano-patents in the technological-beauty market is on,
and Nanomaterials are in many products, including:
L'Oreal 'Plenitude Revitalift' anti-wrinkle cream,
Lancome's Renergie Lift,
Almay's Clear Complexion Concealer,
Various Neutrogena cosmetics by Johnson and Johnson,
Olay's All Day Complete Care cream with UV protection,
Revlon's ColourStay range.
Nanotechnology is also widely used in sunscreens, including the
popular Boots Soltan range.
Theres more info contained here about which products contain the
We welcome the SAs move to ban the particles, particularly in the
absence of any other regulation,
and would take the SA certified natural products over advanced'
skincare products - hazardous or not - any day.