Confidential documents obtained under Freedom of Information reveal that the Federal Government does not support labelling of nanomaterials for informed choice.

The excerpt from the Australian Government Position on the NSW government’s nanotechnology inquiry shows that despite a strong recommendation for labelling from the 2008 NSW inquiry if federal inaction persisted, the Federal Government is intent on doing nothing to assist consumers in making informed choices.

Almost three years since the NSW inquiry a growing chorus of voices including the Cancer Council, the Australian Education Union, the ACTU, health experts, consumer groups and concerned parents are demanding labelling.

A literature review published earlier this year in the Australasian Journal of Dermatology by Wollongong-based dermatologists Dr. Robert Salmon and Dr. Dai Tran found that while scientific uncertainty persisted people with compromised skin and people who use sunscreen daily should avoid nano-sunscreens.

Sydney-based dermatologist Dr. John Sullivan has suggested that very young babies may be at a higher risk of exposure to nanoparticles in sunscreen.

Without labelling it’s virtually impossible for high risk groups to avoid nano-sunscreens .

These documents show that the Government is not heeding widespread community concern over the safety of nanomaterials and is not acting to adequately protect public health.


FOI document

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