FOEA Emerging tech Project

New study shows nanoparticles in sunscreen may harm marine life

A new study shows that nanoparticles of titanium dioxide (TiO2) and zinc oxide in sunscreen can react with sunlight to harm phytoplankton. Phytoplankton are microscopic marine plants and an important food source for small fish, shrimp, and whales. Louise Sales, coordinator of Friends of the Earth’s Emerging Tech Project, said “phytoplankton are the basis of the entire marine food chain. These results, coupled with recent research suggesting...

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Conclusions that nano-ingredients in sunscreen are safe is premature

Recent media reports that “nanoparticles in sunscreen are harmless” on the basis of a recently published study don’t reflect the paper’s own conclusions nor the current state of the science. Louise Sales, Friends of the Earth’s Nanotechnology Project Coordinator stated “whilst the results of this lab study study are interesting, more studies are needed reflecting real life conditions before any conclusions about the safety of nano zinc oxide in...

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ACCC refuses to tackle widespread misleading conduct in the sunscreen industry

The ACCC has refused to take action against two sunscreen ingredient manufacturers, Antaria and Ross Cosmetics, for misleading conduct, despite clear evidence that the two companies sold nanomaterials as ‘non nano’ and ‘nanoparticle free’. Some of Australia’s biggest sunscreen brands were misled by Antaria and Ross and repeated their non-nano claims – including products such as Cancer Council Classic, Invisible Zinc Junior and Body...

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Citizen Science Experiment reveals harmful effects of nano sunscreens

With the help of students from Trinity College, Colac, Friends of the Earth has completed a Citizen Science Experiment investigating the effect that a number of popular Australian sunscreens have on the coating of Colorbond steel and on varnished timber. The experiment replicated a 2008 study which found that nanoparticles of anatase titanium dioxide in sunscreen were reacting with sunlight and aggressively producing free radicals which broke...

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Testing reveals potentially dangerous free radical producing ingredients in sunscreen and cosmetics

Testing from the National Measurement Institute (NMI) has revealed that many Australian sunscreen and cosmetic products still contain anatase titanium dioxide, despite years of warnings of its extreme potential to generate free radicals which could damage DNA and protein. The Friends of the Earth commissioned testing found the chemical in six of the eight products examined. The sunscreen and cosmetic products affected include Nivea ‘Kids’, Coco...

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