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Nanotechnology – A Small Problem

Ever heard of nanotechnology? It is all the rage in labs right now and it’s been slipped into your cosmetics without you even knowing. Nanoparticles are substances that have been manipulated into very, very, very small particles – we’re talking 1/100 000 the width of a human hair. You won’t be able to find them on the shelf because nano labeling is not required by Health Canada or the FDA.

One of the top human health concerns is that these substances penetrate into the bloodstream and the lymph system and damage tissue. Surprisingly, the Environmental Working Group has approved nanotitanium and nanozinc for use in natural sunscreens. I am not convinced.

Another HUGE concern is its effect on eco-systems. A recent study has shown that nanoparticles in sunscreen (zinc & titanium) damage bacteria in water.

Fortunately, the European Union has recently decided to regulate nanoparticles in cosmetics with calls for more research. It will be interesting to see what evidence will be revealed over the next few years.

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