Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Nano nano

The Green ABC have found a new scare campaign to champion. This one concerns nano-particles in sunscreens. Oddly enough on this subject the ABC find plenty of time to air the views of non-experts.

Here's the current consensus from the Australian Cancer Council:

Nanoparticles and sunscreen

Nanotechnology has been used in sunscreens for many years. To date, our assessment, drawing on the best available evidence, is that nanoparticulates used in sunscreens do not pose a risk. However, we continue to monitor research and welcome any new research that sheds more light on this topic.
Sunscreen formulas and their components are regulated through the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). In early 2009, the TGA conducted an updated review of the scientific literature in relation to the use of nanoparticulate zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in sunscreens.
The TGA review concluded that:
  • The potential for titanium dioxide and zinc oxide nanoparticles in sunscreens to cause adverse effects depends primarily upon the ability of the nanoparticles to reach viable skin cells; and
  • To date, the current weight of evidence suggests that titanium dioxide and zinc oxide nanoparticles do not reach viable skin cells; rather, they remain on the surface of the skin and in the outer layer of the skin that is composed of non-viable cells.
The TGA's report concerning the safety of sunscreens can be found

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