The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) has published a report entitled Nanomaterials in consumer products - Update of products on the European market in 2010 (RIVM report 340370003/2010). The report had been commissioned by the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (nVWA) as an update to RIVM's first inventory, published 2007.
According to the abstract of the report, '[i]n the past three years, the number of consumer products with a claim to contain nanomaterials on the European market shows a 6-fold increase from 143 products in 2007 to 858 products in 2010. Product categories with the largest growth are the "Personal care products and cosmetics" like sunscreens and various "coating products" such as anti-rain products for shoes and textiles'.
The study highlights that it aimed to give an update 'of consumer products with a nanoclaim that are present on the European market. These products have the claim of containing nanomaterials or being produced using nanotechnology; however, this has not been verified. Therefore it is realized that this study still has some limitations (Dekkers et al., 2007):
- There are products on the market with a nanoclaim that do not contain nanomaterials and have not been produced using nanotechnology
Not all manufacturers advertise their products as such and there is (at present) no legal obligation for the majority of consumer products to inform consumers or label products that contain nanomaterials.
Cosmetic products are an exception to this rule *
- The amount of available products containing nanomaterials is large and fast growing; for the near future a further growth is expected
- It is difficult to find out in which countries or parts of the world the products are available. It is assumed that via Internet there can be a worldwide availability
The report concludes that in order 'to confirm the presence of nanomaterials in the products, the nanoclaim has to be justified by detection of nanomaterials in the products'.
Follow this link to download the full report.
* Editorial Note:
Under the newly passed Cosmetics Regulation (March 2009), nanomaterials in cosmetics need to be notified to the European Commission, and clearly labelled on the ingredients list of the product.