The project, which will closely monitor a range of personal care products, among a string of other consumer products that have been manufactured using the technology, underlines the organization’s strategy to generate information about the safe use of nano-manufactured materials.
The strategy will include previous research into potential hazards associated with these materials, as well as building on current research to ensure that information is as up-to-date as possible.
Nanotechnology used to clean up waste
As well as product safety, the research will also focus on ways in ways in which nanotechnology can be used to clean up toxic chemicals in the environment, underlining the organization’s ethos that nanotechnology does hold great potential.
In the personal care category nanomaterials are most commonly used in sunscreen products because when they are developed using zinc or titanium nanoparticles they can spread easier and don't leave a white sheen.
However, questions have been raised over the safety of nano sunscreens, something that was shown in a recent study from scientists at the Biomedical Sciences Institute in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, which demonstrated a possible link with brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Titanium dioxides in cosmetics
The research team at EPA will be investigating a wide use of nanomaterials and says that a considerable part of its investigations will be channelled into the titanium dioxides used in cosmetics.
The research will be conducted in the EPA laboratories and by grant recipients working in a host of institutions, including federal organizations and the international scientific community.
The EPA’s new nanotechnology web site will provide more details about the research, expounding on ways to manufacture, dispose and recycle consumer products made from nanomaterials.