Slowly but surely, consumer products which contain nanoparticles are entering the marketplace, from toothpaste to teddy bears. But the field of nanotechnology remains largely unregulated. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.
Vance: In the early 2000’s researchers noticed that nanotechnology was starting to become really popular in the consumer products market, even though research on our potential health effects environmental effects of nano technology hadn’t really been fully developed.
Nina Vance is the associate director of the Virginia Tech Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology.
Vance: So they wanted to start documenting exactly how nanotechnology is entering the consumer products market and they began the Nanotechnology Consumer Products Inventory. I think it came online in 2007 with a few hundred products and now it has about two thousand products.
Vance: There are so many different types of products that use nanotechnology, such as anti-microbial teddy bears or colloidal suspensions of silver particles that you can drink as a supplement for your health.,
We’ve noticed there might be a shift in the consumers’ attitudes because in the beginning this inventory listed a lot of products that just claimed to be using nano technology all the time. Now, there are probably a lot of products out there that use nanotechnology but they have purposefully taken the nanotechnology description out of their product description because they might be afraid of scaring the consumers.
For more information about the Consumer Products Inventory, visit nanotechproject.org/cpi.
I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.