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Tag Archives: Friends of the Earth Australia

New study of nanoparticle skin penetration

As engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) become increasingly common in consumer products and the environment, concern over their possible effects on human health also rises. There is concern over the possible penetration of human skin by ENPs. "However, the evidence whether nanoparticles can infiltrate into underlying tissues is conflicting . . .  clarification of the issue is essential. . .."

With this in mind, Christopher. S.J. Campbell of Mango Business Solutions, L. Roderigo Contreras-Rojas, M. Begona Delgado-Charro, and Richard H. Guy, of the University of Bath Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology have recently published a study "Objective assessment of nanoparticle disposition in mammalian skin after topical exposure" in the Journal of Controlled Release discussin the results of their attempts to measure the extent and depth that ENPs are able to penetrate the skin, in the case of this study the specially cleaned and prepared skin of a pig.

Following exposure to ENPs, the skin samples were examined using a laser scanning  confocal microscope. The reported results indicate that ENPs did not fully penetrate the skin, but only penetrated where a crease or a crack in the skin was present.

The authors note and warn about the limited nature of their research:

It should be emphasised that this research has clearly not been able to make a systematic evaluation of nanoparticle disposition on the skin for the entire spectrum of particle properties, including shape and charge. . . .the observations and their analysis cannot explain, with any degree of …

Cosmetics, Nanoparticles and FOE-AUS

 Friends of the Earth – Australia (FOE-Aus) recently released a new report examining the presence of nanoparticles in cosmetics produced by such well known companies as Revlon, Max Factor, and The Body Shop.

In the press release accompanying the report, FOE-Aus noted that the labeling on cosmetics containers didn’t reflect the presence of nanoparticles in the product:

“Of the ten products we surveyed, only one listed the use of nano-ingredients on the label. The government’s failure to require mandatory labeling of nano-ingredients denies women the capacity to make an informed choice about what they put on their skin.”  

While this may be a legitimate complaint for the Australian regulatory agencies to consider, FOE-Aus loses much of its credibility by suggesting that the "big cosmetics companies" and nanotechnologies companies view Australian women as "guinea pigs" and by calling for

 a stop to sales of cosmetics that contain nano-ingredients, until the safety science catches up, and new laws are introduced to make companies test the safety of their products and to label all nano-ingredients,” said Ms Miller. “We are also calling for public participation in decision making about nanotechnology management”.  

Considering the pace of legislation through any parliamentary body tends to be a slow process and that the issuance of regulations affecting labeling of products by the appropriate agencies would also be a long process, FOE-Aus is effectively calling for a moritorium on nano-based cosmetics for an unknown period of time.

It would be one thing if the report …