Nanoparticles: A tiny question of safety – a recap from Weekend Review “The Vancouver Sun” article by Alex Roslin on Saturday, August 18th.
Why this subject? I asked my husband who was going to the corner store to pick me up a pack of gum or mints. He said “no, haven’t you heard about nanoparticles?” Nano What? Then he handed me the article.
The general public is being exposed to nanoparticles and nanomaterials from food and many cosmetics of which they are largely ignorant. A growing pile of studies are showing that these particles may cause cancer and/or damage to organs and skin, Crohn’s disease and environmental pollution. The tiny particles causing the concern are as little as 1/10,000 times the width of a human hair and are measured in nanometres, or billionths of a metre.
Trying to avoid nanoparticles is almost impossible. They are in a host of products from any food that’s partly white to toothpaste, sunscreen, shampoo, over-the-counter medicine and even chewing gum. Nanoparticles, because they’re so minute, can cause health problems by penetrating deeply into the lungs, skin, blood, brain and, in pregnant women the placenta. Nano-coating could even be on your produce. Food exporters in Latin America were found to be spraying a waxlike nano-coating on fruits and vegetables bound for the U.S. and Canada to extend their shelf life.
Two ingredients commonly used in nano-form are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Some nanoparticles could have the same impact as asbestos and the general public is either unaware or poorly informed.
Nanoparticles are extremely widespread. Everyone is exposed to them to some extent and so far there is no regulation to control them in Canada. Health Canada refused to grant an interview for this story. This is all very unsettling to say the least. What can we do?
For a more extended list of products please go to link below: Sweets, sunscreen, toothpaste: labels only tell part of the story:
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