Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Greenpeace and others want nano sunscreen recalled

A number of consumer and environmental groups -- including Greenpeace -- called on the FDA yesterday to introduce tougher regulations on sunscreens that contain certain types of nanoparticles:

May 17, 2006 - Sunscreens made with submicroscopic particles pose a health hazard and should be recalled, environmental groups said Tuesday in asking the government to increase regulation of growing uses of the science of nanotechnology.

The petition asked the Food and Drug Administration to strengthen its regulation of sunscreens that contain nano-sized titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, saying particles of those minute dimensions pose health and environmental risks, including possible inflammatory and immune responses in the human body. Eight groups, including the International Center for Technology Assessment, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, filed the petition.

For the full SmallTimes article, click here. A Washington Post article by Rick Weiss provides more background on initial reactions by industry representatives:

The FDA regulates sunscreens as nonprescription drugs and does not require extra safety tests specific for nanoparticles. The agency has little authority over cosmetics.

But John Bailey, a vice president at the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association, a trade group, said his level of confidence in the safety of those products is "very high."

(Click here for the full Washington Post article)