Wednesday, March 15, 2006

What is nano and what is not? Look it up ...

A new, public directory allows citizens to check where nano applications and materials are being used in commercially-available products. The Wilson Center just opened a new web site, devoted exclusively to their recently completed Nanotechnology Consumer Products Inventory:
"While not comprehensive, this inventory gives the public the best available look at the 200+ nanotechnology-based consumer products currently on the market. Prior to this inventory, the figure most often cited by the U.S. government was that approximately 80 consumer products containing nanomaterials were being sold."
(For a 1.1MB PDF copy of the initial report, click here.)


Anonymous said...

Clearly, the much-feared "public backlash" about nanotechnology isn't a big issue right now, given that all these companies are using the "nano" claim as a marketing strategy (e.g., Ipod Nano)--apparently, even when some of these products don't have nanomaterials in them! Did companies ever highlight GMO ingredients to market their products? I don't think so.

Of course, these companies may find themselves in an awkward position if the public starts associating nano with health risks. In that case, many of them might say that their products don't really contain nanomaterials, they only used nano as a marketing strategy.

Wouldn't it be helpful if we had a system in place to independently test whether or not products have nanomaterials in them, rather than relying almost entirely on the claims made by the nanoproduct producers?

In any case, it will be very interesting to see how these claims change through time.