martedì 30 agosto 2011

Nanoingredienti nei prodotti solari: la posizione della FDA e quella dei produttori

Un articolo di qualche settimana fa, ma visto il caldo di questi giorni potrebbe essere ancora interessante:


Public interest groups label FDA sunscreen rules 'disappointing' over nanotechnology omission
By Andrew McDougall, 27-Jun-2011

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's newly released sunscreen rules do not take into account the risks posed by nanoscale ingredients according to some public interest groups, leading them to label the latest announcement 'disappointing'.

Last week the FDA announced the new rules for sunscreen labeling and the safety measures surrounding sunscreen and were backed by several organizations including the Personal Care Products Council.
However Friends of the Earth, and The International Center for Technology Assessment and Consumers Union say that the FDA is missing the key health threat that nanotechnology poses.
"The FDA's new rule fails to address any of the concerns we raised five years ago in our legal petition," said George Kimbrell Senior Attorney at ICTA. "FDA's continuing failure to address these pressing health and environmental risks is extremely disappointing and unlawful."
"The FDA's new sunscreen standards miss the boat by ignoring this key health threat. The FDA has known about the threats posed by nanotech sunscreens for years, yet it refuses to regulate or require labeling for these products," added Ian Illuminato, health and environment campaigner at Friends of the Earth. "Why is it that the FDA continues to falter in protecting Americans' health?"
Nanoscale ingredients are widely used in sunscreens to make the sun-blocking ingredients titanium dioxide (TiO2) and zinc oxide (ZnO) appear more transparent when it is rubbed on, instead of white.
Different size, different properties
These materials have been shown to exhibit different fundamental physical, biological, and chemical properties than their larger counterparts.
According to ICTA, very few nanomaterials have been adequately tested for safety, though the limited data available shows their small size enables them to enter the lungs, pass through cell membranes, and possibly penetrate damaged or sun-burnt skin.
Michael Hansen, PhD, senior scientist at Consumers Union is fully behind further research to get to the bottom of nanotechnology use in consumer products.
"Our government must promote research focused on the health and safety of nanomaterials and in the meantime protect the public from these ingredients. We are far from getting 'full-spectrum' protection from our regulators when it comes to sunscreens, the FDA rules will also allow other potentially toxic ingredients such as oxybenzone to remain in sunscreens," said Hansen.
One of the ingredients in question, zinc oxide, in nano and conventional/bulk form, is not approved for use in cosmetics in the European Union due to inherent toxicity.

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