There’s an increased use of harmful nanoparticles in consumer items; human health and environment endangered

by Andrew Schneider on January 29, 2012

Financial forecasters predict that the nano industry will grow to a $1 trillion business in three years and one of the most heavily used nanoparticles in this surge is titanium dioxide. It’s a whitening agent and filler in a rapidly increasing number of foods, paints, coatings, cosmetic, personal care, and other consumer products.

It’s everywhere and most consumers don’t have a clue that they’re buying it, say researchers.

For example, in food alone, researchers at Arizona State University found TiO2 in hundreds of products including Twinkies and other Hostess baked goods, in various flavors of Kool-Aid, in M&Ms, in Trident and Dentyne gum, and in Mentos Mints, Hershey’s dark chocolate, Cadbury candy and Betty Crocker frostings.

A study released this week in ACS’s journal of Environmental Science & Technology broke down the amount of nano TiO2 found in commonly used products

Food led the list, the study said, with the highest content of TiO2 in candies, sweets and chewing gums.

Some personal care products such as toothpastes and several sunscreens – even some marketed for babies – contained 1 percent to more than 10 percent of TiO2. The study reported that most shampoos, deodorants, and shaving creams contained the lowest levels of titanium.

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, which can only recommend worker safeguards to OSHA, has strongly suggested that workers use care when they are exposed to nano TiO2.

Federal regulators have offered little guidance to consumers on the presence of the substance in food.

This angers many public health experts because animal studies have show that inhalation, ingestion or absorption of nano TiO2 can cause cell damage, induce emphysema-like lung injury, penetrate the blood-brain barrier, damage the liver and kidney and cause cancer.

There also is growing proof that this man-made nanoparticle of heavy metal presents a threat to the environment. Researchers have found TiO2 is in sunscreen washing off bathers in pools, lakes or other waterways. The weathering of paint can free it into the soil, and passage though the body can release it into sewage treatment systems.

Testing has found that levels of the TiO2 exist even after being treated in sewage systems and as it moves elsewhere in the environment as treated waste discharged to water supplies or applied as biosolids to farmland.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Tara January 30, 2012 at 21:02

It’s disturbing to know that titanium dioxide is present in sunscreens that are marketed for babies. The bottom line is this: it’s disturbing that high levels are present in products used by anyone. It pains me that many aren’t concerned about this as well as other health-related issues. I appreciate your work. Excellent post!

roncepts February 16, 2012 at 17:54

re: nano TiO2 in Sunscreen:
There is some debate as to HOW MUCH of it migrates past the skin layer. Some say, less gets into the body than in the case of harmful chemicals associated with other “chemical-based” high-SPF screens and blocks! More research needed!

Health Tips April 14, 2012 at 02:34

Andrew Schneider is a great man who did the great researches on the Nano Technology and also he insists about the side effects of this technology. To avoid this we can follow some Health Tips , so that we control the side effect of the Nano Technology.

John Green October 30, 2012 at 07:53

Government not protecting us as usual.

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