This begs a further question: what happens when nanoparticles are released into the environment, and how will they be recycled? Nano-silver has been shown to be toxic to fish and other organisms in soil and water.
In 2006, Friends of the Earth released a groundbreaking report, “Nanomaterials, Sunscreens and Cosmetics: Small Ingredients, Big Risks.” Since then, we’ve released updated reports every year, sharing more and more about these alarming risks, which could affect consumers, workers, and the environment.
Furthermore, none of the nanocosmetics or nanosunscreens on the U.S. market are subject to a premarket safety assessment by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that would require special tests for effects unique to nanoscale ingredients before being put on the shelves (FDA, 2003).
A corporation has asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to approve one of their products containing manufactured nanoparticles for oil clean-up in the Gulf of Mexico. We sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson demanding this risky experiment not be allowed, citing the many health concerns posed by manufactured nanoparticles. The letter was signed by 17 public-interest organizations from the U.S., Canada, and South America.
Nanotechnology involves the creation and manipulation of materials at the scale of atoms and molecules. Scientists are applying nanotechnology to many industries, including food production. Critics say that too little is known about the impact of nanoparticles on human health and the environment.