Just when you thought that the beach was safe ... another tiny beast hiding in personal care products rears its microscopic head. Sunscreen, that must-have accessory for warding off skin cancer, might be exposing you to a new danger: the health risks from nanoparticles in the lotion. Add that to the list of potentially harmful, untested ingredients in the sunscreens we rely on, and it’s no wonder consumers are confused.
The companies aren’t helping: some manufacturers are adding nanoparticles — incredibly small particles of otherwise familiar sunscreen ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide — to products without letting customers know that they’re buying nano ingredients.
Unlike their larger particle cousins, these nanoparticles can enter vital organs, tissues and even our bodies’ cells. Yet the U.S. FDA doesn’t require manufacturers of sunscreens or cosmetics to test ingredients, including nanoparticles, for health and safety. Since there is very limited data on what these little fellas can do to us long term, it seems like a bad idea to smear them all over our bodies and the bodies of our children.
Nanotech may prove useful for scientific applications, but personal care products are the last place companies should be experimenting with it. What goes ON our bodies goes IN our bodies!
It’s time that the FDA protected consumers from hazards in personal care products! Ask the U.S. FDA to assess the safety of nano products before they go to market and require companies to label products containing nanomaterials.