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German regulators: nano particles not cause of health problems linked to cleaning spray
[May 26, 2006]

German regulators: nano particles not cause of health problems linked to cleaning spray


The Associated Press

Two cleaning products linked to respiratory problems blamed on the presence of nano particles did not actually contain any of the submicroscopic bits, German regulators said Friday.

Manufacturers of the two cleaning sprays, both sold under names containing the word "nano," told the German regulator that submicroscopic particles were not used to make the sprays. Chemical analyses conducted on the sprays by independent labs for the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, also showed no trace of the particles, the agency said.



"Based on the information from manufacturers and chemical studies commissioned by the institute, the products do not contain any nano-sized particles," it said in a statement.

Instead, it said "The term 'nano' in the product names is intended far more to draw attention to the wafer-thin film that forms on the surface of glass or ceramic after the spray-application of the products."


Although the findings are positive, researchers and regulators are still hoping to get better knowledge of the possible effects of nanotechnology uses in everyday products.

Products using nanotechnology include a transparent form of sunscreen that acts like zinc oxide, but doesn't have the chalky, white consistency of that substance. Clothing that is supposed to never stain also has been created with nanotechnology.

U.S. government regulators plan to meet in October to discuss new kinds of materials being produced with nanotechnology, including drugs, foods, cosmetics and medical devices.

Nanotechnology involves the manufacture and manipulation of materials at the molecular or atomic level. At that scale, materials are measured in nanometers or billionths of a meter. Nanoscale materials are generally less than 100 nanometers in diameter. A sheet of paper, in comparison, is 100,000 nanometers thick.

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On the Net:

Federal Institute for Risk Assessment: http://www.bfr.bund.de

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