"New research from North Carolina State University and the University of Minnesota finds that people in the United States want labels on food products that use nanotechnology - whether the nanotechnology is in the food or is used in food packaging. The research also shows that many people are willing to pay more for the labeling."
"A group of NGOs led by the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) has written to the Titanium Dioxide Manufacturers Association (TDMA) to express their continuing concerns about the safety of the substance.
In a letter, seen by Chemical Watch, the NGOs say they would particularly like to reiterate their worries 'regarding the contradictory information disseminated by chemicals manufacturers in relation to titanium dioxide'. They add that some of the information 'disregards scientific studies used for the evaluation of associated risks' with exposure to the chemical."
"Substantial scientific scrutiny is needed in the area of nanomaterial metrology to establish best practices and to develop suitable methods before implementing definitions based solely on number percent nano-object content for regulatory purposes. Strong cooperation between industry, academia, and research institutions will be required to fully develop and implement detailed frameworks for nanomaterial identification with respect to emerging count-based metrics."
"'The penetration of silver nanoparticles is dangerous to consumers because they have the ability to relocate in the human body after digestion,' Lin says. 'Therefore, smaller nanoparticles may be more harmful to consumers than larger counterparts.'
When ingested, nanoparticles pass into the blood and lymph system, circulate through the body and reach potentially sensitive sites such as the spleen, brain, liver, and heart.
The growing trend to use other types of nanoparticles has revolutionized the food industry by enhancing flavors, improving supplement delivery, keeping food fresh longer, and brightening the colors of food. However, researchers worry that the use of silver nanoparticles could harm the human body."
"In this present study, we aimed to investigate the extracellular glutamate level and memory function-related gene expression in the mouse olfactory bulb after exposure of the animals to nanoparticle-rich diesel exhaust (NRDE) with or without bacterial cell wall component. ... This is the first study to show the correlation between glutamate toxicity and memory function-related gene expressions in the mouse olfactory bulb following exposure to NRDE."
"Scientist Mengshi Lin and his colleagues tested the extent to which silver nanoparticles remain as a residue on and even penetrate into the pulp of fresh fruit. They immersed the pears in a nanosilver solution that is similar to a pesticide application and repeatedly washed and rinsed them. After four days, the nanoparticles remained attached to the skin of the pears and had also become embedded into their pulp.
The penetration of silver nanoparticles is dangerous to consumers because they have the ability to relocate in the human body after digestion. Therefore, smaller nanoparticles may be more harmful to consumers than larger counterparts,” says Lin."
"The scientists note that, once ingested, nanoparticles can pass into the blood and lymph system, circulate through the body and reach potentially sensitive sites such as the spleen, brain, liver, and heart. Nanosilver’s presence in clothing and cosmetics provides another potential route of exposure. A recent study revealed that athletic wear impregnated with nanosilver can cause the substance to seep into a person’s skin through one’s sweat. A 2009 study showed that washing these types of nanosilver-impregnated textiles resulted in an unknown spread of the substance into the environment. Due to its small size, nanosilver is often not filtered out by conventional wastewater treatment plants. After entering the environment, past studies show nanosilver can have devastating impacts on wildlife, including deformities in fish and immune suppression in earthworms.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been criticized by scientists and consumer and environmental groups for its role in regulating emerging nanotechnology. A 2013 National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) report provided a scathing account of EPA’s “conditional” registration of nanosilver, which the agency approved under the assumption that its use would reduce the overall burden of conventional silver in the environment. However, despite its novel antibacterial properties, the material did not undergo a full range of required tests, and there is no labeling system that would alert consumers to the presence of this largely untested substance in consumer products. A 2012 industry newsletter placed EPA’s delay over nanotechnology regulation on White House officials in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Richard Denison, PhD, senior scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund explained, “My understanding is that there is a view in some circles in the White House that they do not want to stigmatize nanomaterials nor stifle the technology even by requiring the reporting of information that EPA needs to make judgments as to whether there are risks.”"
"Based on the likelihood of exposure, it appears that in general most attention should be paid to the agrifood, chemistry/materials, textiles and health sectors; and less to the information and communication technology (ICT), security and energy sectors. Toxicity and exposure are both important; however, the EHS impact of nanomaterials is always dependent on their particular use."
The European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety has published its opinions on the risks posed by nano titanium dioxide, and an addendum to its previous opinion on nano zinc oxide used as UV filters in cosmetic products.
Scientists are only just beginning to understand the potential risks associated with releasing nanomaterials into the environment. These include potentially harmful effects on soil and water organisms.
"A new study suggests there’s more to nanoparticle toxicology than cell life and death. Although immune cells treated with iron oxide particles appeared healthy in standard toxicology tests, they struggled to perform one of their key jobs: engulfing pathogenic bacteria (ACS Nano 2013, DOI: 10.1021/nn402145t). The researchers wonder if exposure to significant levels of the nanoparticles could lead to dysfunction in people’s immune systems."
"Cutting cumulative exposure to carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in the workplace is imperative for reducing the potential for adverse effects, according to a study by researchers from the US's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (Niosh)."
"Complaints such as swelling, itching, stinging, pain and redness are common, predominantly in black and red tattoos, but also frequent in blue tattoos, thus, not confined to one specific colour or chemical entity or class of pigment. Symptoms may switch on and off in seconds, typically not of the weal-and-flare type. Photochemical reactions to pigment or pigment-breakdown products in situ in the skin with induction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is presumed to be one causative mechanism. Another possible mechanism especially relevant in black may be induction of ROS due to effects of aggregation of carbon black nanoparticles."
"A partnership between the Brazilian Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) and the National Council of Scientific and Technological Knowledge (CNPq) will focus on research into the use of nanotechnology in health-related products and the need for regulation."
"Beware personal care products that tout use of nanoparticles, nanomaterials or nanotechnology. This emerging technology is almost entirely untested for its health effects, and no requirements exist for either testing or labeling these products to make sure consumers are both safe and informed. That means that you might be getting a dose of nano without even knowing it."
"The businesses and trade groups lobbying against proposed action on nanotechnology by the EPA, the Food and Drug Administration and other federal agencies include the American Chemistry Council and its nanotechnology business panel. Among the panel’s members are Procter & Gamble, BASF Corp., Dow Chemical Co., DuPont, Lockheed Martin Corp. and 3M, all of which use nanomaterial in making at least some of their products or processes. Other key lobbying groups are the NanoBusiness Commercialization Association and the Nanotechnology Industries Association. Nanotechnology practices have sprung up in law and lobby firms, among them Steptoe & Johnson LLP, Foley & Lardner LLP and Bergeson & Campbell PC. The combined amount of money spent on lobbying by these firms last year was more than $200 million, and their campaign contributions to federal candidates during the 2011-2012 election cycle exceeded $120 million.
One of the best-known scientist-lobbyists, Rosalind Volpe, made a name for herself defending another industry with a public health and environmental public relations problem: lead. Volpe runs the Silver Nanotechnology Working Group and remains a consultant to the International Lead Zinc Research Organization.
“She knows how to lobby for difficult chemicals,” said Jaydee Hanson, a senior policy analyst at the Center for Food Safety, which studies the impact of nanotechnology on food. “She works for five little companies, but they’ve managed to hold up regulations over at the OMB,” a reference to the White House Office of Management and Budget."
"Because of the dynamic, size and density-dependent nature of ENP delivery to cells in vitro, the biological consequences of agglomeration are not discernible from static measures of exposure concentration (μg/ml) alone, highlighting the central importance of integrated physical characterisation and quantitative dosimetry for in vitro studies. The combined experimental and computational approach provides a quantitative framework for evaluating relationships between the biocompatibility of nanoparticles and their physical and chemical characteristics."
"Although a majority of aggregated or stable NPs [nanoparticles] were removed by simulated conventional and advanced treatment, NP metals were detectable in finished water. As environmental NP concentrations increase, we need to consider NPs as emerging drinking water contaminants, and determine appropriate drinking water treatment processes to fully remove NPs in an effort to reduce their potential harmful health outcomes."
"Our findings suggest that particles < 0.5 µm in diameter may be most responsible for adverse health effects of particulate air pollution, and that adverse health effects may increase with decreasing particle size."