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USA risk losing global leadership in nanotech

According to a new report from Lux Research, “In terms of sheer volume, The U.S. dominated the rest of the world in nanotech funding and new patents last year (…). But (…) countries such as China and Russia launched new challenges to U.S. dominance in 2009, while smaller players such as Japan, Germany and South Korea surpassed the United States in terms of commercializing nanotechnology and products.” (press release)

 [[[ Additional links suggested by Nanocolors :

Has China already passed America in nanotechnology?

Nano-related patents – the most visible countries 

Ranking the nations on nanotech ]]]


Friends of the Earth new (short) report : “Manufactured nanomaterials and sunscreens : top reasons for precautions”

Friends of the Earth together with ICTA and Consumers Union released today a 10 page report entitled “Manufactured nanomaterials and sunscreens : top reasons for precautions“. According to them these reasons are :

– Nanomaterials are different from other conventionally-sized compounds

– In the body, nanomaterials have much greater access to vulnerable organs and tissues

– Increasing evidence that some nanomaterials can pass through the skin

– Senior scientists have called for mandatory premarket safety tests for nanomaterials before they are used in products

– Potential next generation harm from nanomaterials

– Potential harm to workers and the Environment

– Nanomaterials in sunscreens and cosmetics could theoretically cause skin damage over time

– Consumers can get highly effective transparent protection from harmful rays of the sun with products made without nanoscale chemical ingredients.

Further details are available in the document.

[[[ Additional links suggested by Nanocolors :

Nanotechnology & sunscreens – EWG’s 2009 investigation

# Nano-Sunscreens: Issue continues to be controversially discussed ]]]

EPA draft report : “Nanomaterial case studies : nanoscale titanium dioxide in water treatment and in topical sunscreen”

The EPA released this July for review and public comment a draft version of a (rather huge) report entitled “Nanomaterial case studies : nanoscale titanium dioxide in water treatment and in topical sunscreen” (222 p).

According to the preamble (p 14) : ” (…) This document is a starting point to determine what is known and what needs to be known about selected nanomaterials as part of a process to identify and prioritize research to inform future assessments of the potential ecological and health implications of these materials. Two specific applications of nanoscale titanium dioxide (nano-TiO2) are considered: as an agent for removing arsenic from drinking water and as an active ingredient in topical sunscreen. (…)

Chapter 1 – Introduction

Chapter 2 – Life cycle stages : “This chapter discusses the life cycle of nanoscale titanium dioxide (nano-TiO2) as either a water treatment agent or an ingredient in topical sunscreen. Each stage in the life cycles of the respective applications is considered from the standpoint of potential releases to the environment.

Chapter 3 – Fate and transport : This chapter “explores what might happen to nanoscale titanium dioxide (nano-TiO2) after it is released to the environment at various stages of the product life cycles for water treatment agents or topical sunscreens.

Chapter 4 – Exposure-dose characterization : “This chapter examines the potential for biota and humans to be exposed to nanoscale titanium dioxide (nano-TiO2) and associated pollutants through various environmental pathways tracing back to the life cycle of two types of applications of nano-TiO2, water treatment agents and topical sunscreens.

Chapter 5 – Characterization of effects : “This chapter provides information on the factors that influence nano-TiO2 ecological and health effects (Section 5.1), the ecological effects of nano-TiO2 (Section 5.2), and the toxicological and human health effects of nano-TiO2 (Section 5.3).

As stated on the dedicated EPA web page, “each chapter includes a list of questions that reflect information gaps in that portion of the document. Some of these information gaps or research needs are specific to the respective uses of nano-TiO2 either as a water treatment agent or as an ingredient in topical sunscreen. Other research needs may apply more broadly to nano-TiO2 irrespective of its application, and still other needs may apply even more widely to nanomaterials in general.

[[[ Additional links suggested by Nanocolors :

# EPA report on the use of nanoscale TiO2 in water and sunscreens

# Nanotechnology & sunscreens – EWG’s 2009 investigation

# TiO2 nanoparticles in biomedical publications since 2000 

# Nanofiltration in patents since 2000 ]]]

Nanotechnology & sunscreens – EWG’s 2009 investigation

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) reviews the situation concerning nanoparticles in sunscreens in a dedicated section of its  2009 sunscreen guide, released today. I find particularly interesting this paragraph of their investigation’s contrasted conclusion : “When we began our sunscreen investigation at the Environmental Working Group, our researchers thought we would ultimately recommend against micronized and nano-sized zinc oxide and titanium dioxide sunscreens. After all, no one has taken a more expansive and critical look than EWG at the use of nanoparticles in cosmetics and sunscreens, including the lack of definitive safety data and consumer information on these common new ingredients, and few substances more dramatically highlight gaps in our system of public health protections than the raw materials used in the burgeoning field of nanotechnology. But many months and nearly 400 peer-reviewed studies later, we find ourselves drawing a different conclusion, and recommending some sunscreens that may contain nano-sized ingredients“.

The Nanotechnology & Sunscreen section of the guide more precisely reviews the following issues :

* Safety concerns of nanoparticles

–> potential for human uptake of nanoparticles by skin absorption/penetration (for TiO2 and ZnO nanoparticles)

–> dermal penetration of other nanoparticles

–> oral exposures to nanoscale zinc and titanium

–> inhalation exposures to nanoscale zinc and titanium

* Toxicity of nano-scale zinc and titanium

* Nano-scale zinc and titanium life-cycle and environmental risks

The Impact of nanoparticles section of the guide includes lists of titanium and zinc nanoparticle suppliers.

[[[ Additional links suggested by Nanocolors :

# Statement by John Bailey, Chief Scientist The Personal Care Products Council, Response to EWG’s 2009 Sunscreen Report

# ZnO nanoparticles in biomedical publications since 2000

# TiO2 nanoparticles in biomedical publications since 2000

# Industry critics give nanotechnology sunscreens the thumbs up ]]]

OSHA report : “Literature review – Workplace exposure to nanoparticles”

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) recently published a report entitled “Literature review – Workplace exposure to nanoparticles” which reviews the most recent publications on nanoparticles and focuses on the possible adverse health effects of workplace exposure. The document also presents the regulatory background and activities taken to manage this emerging risk.

Focus on nanotechnology reports

<<< Latest post update : 06/11/2010 >>>

This post lists several important reports dedicated to various aspects of nanotech and related issues.*


–>  Etat des lieux du secteur des nanotechnologies (57 p)

–> Gold for good – Gold and nanotechnology in the age of innovation (24 p)

–> Les nanotechnologies et les nanomatériaux dans les pays nordiques – état des lieux et prise en compte des risques en 2010 (22p)

–> Nanotechnologies et enjeux dans les secteurs de l’eau et de l’énergie des pays en développement (33 p)

–>  Risques et opportunités trans-sectoriels des nanotechnologies pour les pays en développement (32 p)

–> Voluntary initiatives, regulation, and nanotechnology oversight : charting a path (56 p)


–> Adressing nanomaterials as an issue of global concern (42 p)

–> Approaches to safe nanotechnology – Managing the health and safety concerns associated with engineered nanomaterials (104 p)

–> Engineered nanomaterials : evidence on the effectiveness of workplace controls to prevent exposure (82 p)

–> Exposure to nanomaterials in consumer products (47 p)

–> Literature review – Workplace exposure to nanoparticles (91 p)

–> Manufactured nanomaterials and sunscreens : top reasons for precautions (10 p)

–> Mapping study on regulation and governance of nanotechnologies (138 p)

–> Nano & biocidal silver – extreme germ killers present a growing threat to public health (48 p)

–> Nanotechnologies et nanoparticules dans l’alimentation humaine et animale (27 p)

–> Nanotechnology : the social and ethical issues (63 p)

–> Oversight of next generation nanotechnology (48 p)

–> Securing the promise of nanotechnologies : towards transatlantic regulatory cooperation (122 p)


–> Applications of nanotechnologies in the energy sector (88 p)

–> European activities in the field of ethical, legal and social aspects (ELSA) and governance of nanotechnology (48 p)

–> Les nanotechnologies (186 p)

–> Novel materials in the environment : the case of nanotechnology (154 p)

–> Out of the laboratory and on to our plates – Nanotechnology in food and agriculture (68 p)

–> Risk governance of nanotechnology applications in food and cosmetics (52 p)

–> Small wonder ? Nanotechnology and cosmetics (12 p)

–> Towards predicting nano-biointeractions : an international assessment of nanotechnology environment, health and safety research needs (80 p)


–> Characterising the Potential Risks Posed by Engineered Nanoparticles: A Second U.K. Government Research Report (100 p)

–> Environmentally beneficial nanotechnologies – barriers and opportunities (95 p)

–> Nanotechnology recent developments, risks and opportunities (36 p)

—> Nanotechnology risk perceptions : the influence of affect and values (53)


–> Nanomaterials, sunscreens and cosmetics : small ingredients, big risks (32 p)

–> Nanotechnology, water & development (44 p)

–> Nanotech Rx – Medical applications of nano-scale technologies : what impact on marginalized communities ? (63 p)


–> Opportunities and risks of nanotechnologies (46 p)

–> Nanotechnology and the poor : opportunities and risks (29 p)

–> Nanotechnology in medical applications: possible risks for human health (46 p)


–> A review of selected nanotechnology topics and their potential military applications (44 p)

–> Nanoscience and nanotechnologies : opportunities and uncertainties (127 p)

–> Nanotechnologies : prospective sur la menace et les opportunités au service du combattant (74 p)

* The sources/authors are diverse, and so are also the statements, assessments, opinions, proposals… expressed in these different documents. Nanocolors provides such a contrasted list for feeding the debate and considers all these reports are worthy of reading for self-education on nanotech and some of the “hot” issues in the field .

Nano & biocidal silver – Friends Of the Earth report

Friends of the Earth (FoE) released yesterday a report entitled   “Nano & biocidal silver – extreme germ killers present a growing threat to public health” (press release).

In the frame of this document, the NGO calls for “immediate moratorium on the commercial release of products that contain manufactured nanosilver until nanotechnology-specific regulation is introduced to protect the public, workers and the environment from their risks, and until the public is involved in decision-making“.

The report is rather dense with informations and documented with a lot of references. A very interesting part focuses on nanotechnology regulatory issues and discusses the European, Australian and US situations in this matter (pages 26-33 of the report).