Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Cosmetics: Facing the (lack of) facts

Paula Begoun, who writes a "Cosmetics Tips" column for the Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service, recently fielded a nanotech question.

Q: A recent news article I read reported that nanotechnology is being used in cosmetic and skin-care products such as sunscreen. There is disagreement about the safety of nanoparticles in these products, particularly in terms of absorption into the skin, and apparently little regulation by any government agency. Do you have a position on these materials? How can a consumer know if nanoparticles are in a particular product? _Natasha, via email

Begoun's answer was refreshingly thorough, thoughtful and accurate, given the limited space she had. I encourage everybody to read her full answer, but if you're in a hurry I'll "bottom-line" it with the excerpt below:

A: ... I have been searching for relevant information to answer your question, and while I do think there are theoretical reasons to be concerned, I can't be any more specific than that, because there is no specific research on the subject, at least not as far as skin-care ingredients go. ... More here

QuoteBot: Lipstick on a guinea pig?
A nano IPO and excuse to run a supermodel pic
'All we have is speculation on toxicity'

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