Nanoproducts – what is actually available to European consumers?
It remains unclear which kinds of nanoproducts are available on the European market, although this information is a prerequisite for any kind of exposure and risk assessment. In order to address this lack of information, we have established The Nanodatabase (http://www.nanodb.dk), which is an online inventory of products claimed by manufacturers to contain nanomaterials (NMs) or be based on nanotechnology. The database currently entails 2231 products. The database is unique and includes basic information about the product (name, NM used, location of NM, product category, etc.) as well as a safety evaluation of each individual product according to the NanoRiskCat-framework. Our analysis of products that are currently present in the database shows that most products fall into “personal care” and “clothing” categories (≥300), followed by “sporting goods” and “cleaning” (>200). Silver and titanium dioxide are the most used NMs, but it is not possible to identify the NMs used for almost 60% of the products in the database. The data analysis shows that for most product categories the dominant route of exposure is dermal, and that the exposure potential as well as human and environmental hazard potential of most products is either “high” or “unknown”. In order to address the current lack of reporting by manufacturers when it comes to nanoproducts, we recommend that it is made mandatory to disclose and report any nanomaterials used in a consumer product and it becomes illegal to advertise and market products as “nano” when they have no content of nanomaterials.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Sustainable Nanotechnology Organization 2014