FOEA Emerging tech Project

Conflict of interest concerns with European Commission’s expert risk assessors

A new report by Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) raises serious concerns regarding potential conflicts of interest in the European Commission’s Scientific Committees. Looking at four recent case studies – parabens, nano titanium dioxide, nano-silver and mercury – CEO discovered that 67 per cent of the scientists who drafted opinions had at least one conflict of interest. Some had as many as 20 – due to their direct and indirect links...

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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. Phytoplankton are the basis of the entire marine food chain. These results, coupled with recent research suggesting that nano titanium dioxide could harm coral, raise serious questions about the...

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Nano zinc in sunscreen may be made more dangerous when combined with common household chemicals

While concerns have been raised about the safety of nano-zinc, current government advice is that there is insufficient evidence for it to be considered dangerous. Now a new study reported on the ABC has suggested that when nano-zinc is mixed with surfactants — a common class of chemical found in detergents, shampoos, and pharmaceutical products — the combined effect can be more toxic than nano-zinc alone. Louise Sales, nano-campaigner at...

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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 sunscreens, Coles Sports and Woolworths Clear Zinc.

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