Nanotechnology marches onwards

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nanotechnology Us

As nanotechnology finds its way into more and more personal care
products, global beauty companies are being invited
to respond to a new code of conduct on its use.

Nanotechnology is expected to make a big impact on the cosmetics industry, particularly in sun care and anti-aging products, but concerns about the safety of the budding technology have been raised. The inventory on nano-based consumer products, compiled by the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies at the Woodrow Wilson International Centers, was updated yesterday, with health and beauty coming out as one of the biggest product categories to use nanotechnology. It revealed that the number of personal care products using nanotechnology has risen to 85 from 58 when it was launched in March 2006. The cosmetic product count, which the center differentiates from personal care products, rose also to 89 from 75 and sunscreens to 27 from 18. Nanotechnology is being used across the industry, even in natural products. For example, Burt's Bees sunscreen contains 'natural titanium dioxide mineral…micronized into a nano sized particle', the center stated. "The use of nanotechnology and nanomaterials in consumer products and industrial applications is growing rapidly, and the products listed in the inventory are just the tip of the iceberg,"​ said Andrew Maynard, science advisor at the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies. In response to the increased use of nanotechnology and the safety concerns surrounding its use, the Royal Society, Insight Investment and the Nanotechnology Industries Association (NIA), came together in Europe in November last year to discuss the next steps. One of the outcomes was the 'Responsible NanoCode', published online in draft form two weeks ago, which, in the absence of regulation, aims to provide principles of good practice for companies and organizations involved in nanotechnology. US companies and research organizations have now been invited to comment on the fledgling code of conduct at a consultation event on nanotechnology on October, 9 at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. It will also be webcast at​. It is hoped that the final version of the Responsible NanoCode will be adopted by companies and organizations across the world who are working with nanotechnologies.

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