The Royal Society(1) today commented on a new Which? report(2) that has found that nanomaterials are being used in a wide range of cosmetics.
Professor Dame Ann Dowling, Chair of the Royal Society working group on nanotechnologies, said:
“We highlighted in our study in 2004 that nanoparticles of a chemical can have different properties to the same chemical in its larger form. And this is why nanoparticles are so exciting.
“However, when cosmetics companies are seeking to exploit these novel qualities in their products they must ensure that their safety testing methods take account of these qualities. The Royal Society has been calling, for the last four years, for companies to make public the safety testing methods they have been using on their nanoproducts. We are disappointed at continuing lack of transparency in this area.
“More research does need to be done on the effects of manufactured nanoparticles on human health and the environment. This is important so that regulation can be built on a proper understanding of any risks. The Government has, by its own admission, recognised that progress has been slow in this area.”
The Royal Society is an independent academy promoting the natural and applied sciences. Founded in 1660, the Society has three roles, as the UK academy of science, as a learned Society, and as a funding agency. It responds to individual demand with selection by merit, not by field. As we prepare for our 350th anniversary in 2010, we are working to achieve five strategic priorities, to:
- Invest in future scientific leaders and in innovation
- Influence policymaking with the best scientific advice
- Invigorate science and mathematics education
- Increase access to the best science internationally
- Inspire an interest in the joy, wonder and excitement of scientific discovery
Press and Public Relations
The Royal Society, London