ZINC OXIDE IN                            NANO-FORMZinc oxide is a white powder              1  SUN SCREENS, IS THE USE    ...
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Zinc Oxide In Nano-Form

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Zinc oxide is a white powder
which is widely used in a variety
of applications. One of these is in
cosmetic products as a UV filter
as well as a cosmetic colorant. It
is generally considered to be safe
for use, in good part because it
does not get into the body. The
zinc oxide particles are sometimes
coated with another cosmetic
ingredient in order to change how
they look or how they react in a
mixture. New technologies have
recently allowed the use of nanosized
zinc oxide particles. The
question here is whether zinc oxide
“nanoparticles” used in sunscreens
(at a concentration of up to 25%)
are different to conventional zinc
oxide in terms of physical and
chemical properties and toxicity.

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Zinc Oxide In Nano-Form

  1. 1. ZINC OXIDE IN NANO-FORMZinc oxide is a white powder 1 SUN SCREENS, IS THE USE IN in spray products is not consideredwhich is widely used in a variety OF ZINC OXIDE IN THE “NANO safe. It is worth noting that, at theof applications. One of these is in FORM” AS SAFE FOR HUMAN time of the current publicationcosmetic products as a UV filter AS THE USE OF COMMON ZINC and according to the informationas well as a cosmetic colorant. It OXIDE? from cosmetic companies, thereis generally considered to be safe are no sprayable sunscreens onfor use, in good part because it For the current assessment, a the European market that containdoes not get into the body. The number of specific coated or nano-sized zinc oxide.zinc oxide particles are sometimes uncoated zinc oxide raw materialscoated with another cosmetic in nano-form have been evaluated. 1 IMIT OF THIS OPINION AND Lingredient in order to change how The conclusion is that the use of FURTHER RESEARCHthey look or how they react in a the zinc oxide nanoparticles thatmixture. New technologies have have been tested can be consideredrecently allowed the use of nano- as safe for use on the skin as This opinion applies only tosized zinc oxide particles. The conventional materials. the zinc oxide materials testedquestion here is whether zinc oxide and to materials of similar The available information suggests“nanoparticles” used in sunscreens that the nanoparticles of zinc characteristics of size, purity,(at a concentration of up to 25%) oxide do not get into the body coating and solubility. Since theare different to conventional zinc through the skin. It also suggests methodologies for evaluatingoxide in terms of physical and that the amount of zinc ions, the properties nanomaterials inchemical properties and toxicity. which may be released from zinc general are still in development, oxide nanoparticles and enter the in the future, additional data may1 HAT IS A ‘NANO PARTICLE’ OR W body through the skin, is likely to be required for a full assessement A ‘NANOFORM’ ? be insignificantly small. Similarly, of zinc oxide health impact in the zinc ions could also be taken up nano-form.A so-called ‘nano particle’ refer when zinc oxide nanoparticles areto materials and components that accidentally swallowed, althoughhave at least one dimension in the it is unlikely that this happens This fact sheet is based onsize range 1 - 100 nanometer (one to a large extent with sunscreen the scientific opinion “Zincnanometer is one billionth of a products. Either way, no health oxide (nano form)” adoptedmeter). The fact that these particles impact of the ‘nano’ nature of zinc on September 18 2012 by theare in the same size scale as the cells oxide is expected. independent European Scientificin the body brings up some questions Committee on Consumer Safety Inflammation of the lungs hasas to the potential interactions been observed when zinc oxidebetween those ‘nanoparticles’ and nanoparticles are breathed in, andthe body. The evaluation or the The detailed and nuanced view of the European thus the use of nano-sized zinc oxide Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newlypossible impact on human health Identified Health Risks on this issue is available atof these new nanomaterials is anon-going process. http://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/ emerging/docs/scenihr_o_035.pdf SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEES

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