Nanoparticles are in all kinds of products, from personal care to clothing to food. Nanotechnology, the process of manipulating matter at one billionth of a meter, allows materials to be stronger, leading to more durable products. Unfortunately, those tiny particles may be bad for the environment and our health.
Because nanoparticles are so small, they can leach into our skin. Once in the body, nanoparticles can cause all sorts of problems. Recent studies have shown that nanoparticles can damage lung cells, suppress immunity and carry health risks similar to those posed by asbestos. Nanoparticles used in sunscreens and other personal care products have also been shown to harm bacteria and soil microbes, raising questions about what the particles would do when rinsed down the drain and into waterways.
Concerned? You can learn more and voice your concerns the NanoAction, a campaign to stop nanotechnology commercialization until products containing nanoparticles have been proven safe. Additionally, the Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concetration (ETC Group) has called for a moratorium to be placed on research involving nanotechnology until nanoparticles have been closely evaluated.