Sun worshippers beware. While using sunscreen to block dangerous UV rays, you may be exposing yourself to a new danger. Sunscreen manufacturers are adding nanoparticles to sunscreens to make sun-blocking ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide rub on clear instead of white. These nanoparticles are being added without appropriate labeling or reliable safety information—and they pose potential threats to human health.
Petition to Regulate Nano-Silver
On May 1, 2008, the International Center for Technology Assessment (CTA) and a coalition of consumer, health, and environmental groups, including Friends of the Earth, filed a legal petition with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The groups demand that the agency use its pesticide regulation authority to regulate numerous consumer products now using nano-sized versions of silver. The petition is the first legal challenge to EPA’s failure to regulate nanomaterials. Nano-silver is the most common commercialized nanomaterial and is used primarily for its "germ killing" abilities.
Corporations around the world are rapidly introducing thousands of tons of nanomaterials into the environment and onto the faces and hands of millions of people, despite the growing body of evidence indicating that nanomaterials can be toxic to humans and the environment. Friends of the Earth believes that there are at least several hundred cosmetics, sunscreens and personal care products which contain engineered nanomaterials that are commercially available right now.