In a surprising move, the FDA is making manufacturers who use widely accepted nanotechnology in their body care products to test the nanoparticles used for safety to the human body. There has long been a lot of suspect safety issues in these tiny particles that are used in products from body lotions to deodorants and sunscreens to soaps and other products.
Many of the particles are shrunk down to such tiny sizes that they are easily absorbed by the skin and no longer stay on the “top” where they are harmless. It is mostly due to consumer demand for products that are more uniform, or that do not turn a person white when applied.
A good example is sunscreen. Many sunscreens you may notice, do not turn you white any more because the companies that make them turn the once-harmless sunscreen ingredient zinc oxide or titanium dioxide into particles that are so small they cannot even be detected by microscopes.
This may not turn your skin white any more, but the disturbing part is that now these microminerals are easily absorbed into the skin where they can become active in the blood stream and can cause issues by accumulation in the organs and more important the brain.
They have shown a disturbing display of being able to collect in the brain and cause brain cell death when they reach toxic levels. Companies are only required to list the ingredients on their labels, they are not required to disclose that they are shrunk down in size to nanoparticles. So really, you should like sunscreens that turn you white!
Other ingredients like chemicals and minerals can also be shrunken down in size in order to accomodate consumer demands for better application. This is NOT a good thing. Many lip balms with scunscreen contain these nanoparticles as well, and they have been linked to accumulating in the brain and causing cell death as well if they use this nanotechnology.
In short, it’s a good thing the FDA requires more testing on these nanoparticles. However, you still need to use your own diligence and research whether your skin and body care products are using safe ingredients.