Understanding Nanoparticles

Over the past year, there has been a lot of discussion about the use of nanoparticles in skin care and cosmetics. Nanoparticles are particles that have a dimension that is 100 nanometers or less in size.

While they are very widely used through the Health and Beauty industry, much of the controversy surrounding them is due to the lack of knowledge regarding long term effects on a consumer’s body. The nano-sized particles have the ability to absorb into skin  and blood stream much faster compared to regular ingredients.

“Nanoparticles are unbelievably tiny, man-made chemicals. They are so incredibly small that tens of thousands of them can fit on the point of a needle. Remember how we were taught that the atom is the smallest component of matter? Well, nanoparticles of various substances are made to be so small that they can be inserted into atoms. Once there, they may undergo a change in the way they normally function, and sometimes their toxicity can be enhanced with a potential for more severe action than normal chemicals.” (ewg.org).

Many lobbyist groups are now fighting to ensure that companies that use nano technology in their manufacturing will be forced to disclose that information on the labels of their products. Right now there is no distinguishing between products which contain an ingredient in a nano-size versus a full particle size.

Reposted from OnlyGreen EcoBits Newsletter – February 2011 Issue.


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