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Title

: Nanotechnology: A gift to the mankind or a disaster?

SAMPLE SYNTHESIS

The cosmetic industry is one of the early adopters of nanotechnology. The usage of
enormously tiny particles, which are known scientifically as nanoparticles combined with other
materials, are being used broadly in cosmetics. Hence what exactly is nanotechnology?
Nanotechnology is a general term used to classify the branch of science dealing with the
characterisation and manipulation of materials on the nanometre scale one nanometre is one
billionth of a metre (Hall et al., 2007). Nanotechnology which is the science of manipulating matter
on the molecular level can behave unstably at an instance becoming toxic (Sample, 2008), and is
being used widely in various sectors, mainly in the cosmetics industry. However, Sample alongside
Herman and Kuechel do agree that not many studies have been done on the effects of nanotechnology
although there are stated benefits in the production of cosmetics using nanoparticles. The recent
development of nanotechnology in the cosmetic field had sparked heated debate on its effectiveness
as well as its effect on human.
Despite the general term used in defining nanotechnology, the nanos used in cosmetics varies
from nanos used in industrial sectors in terms of its physical attributes, function and environmental
interaction. In cosmetics, nanos used are nanoemulsions and nanopigments (Hall et al., 2007).
Macroscopic preparation consists of water and oil droplets or nanoemulsions functioned in preserving
the transparency and lightness of the formulas while decreasing its size to nanometric value helps to
boost nutritious oil content. As for nanopigments, it is mostly used in sunscreen as it is capable of
reflecting and scattering UV light.
With the rise in nanomaterials usage in the cosmetics field, Sample (2008) stated that experts
are questioning the lack of safety procedures and research in ensuring the safety of nanotechnology
products in the market. Herman & Kuechel (2007) and Sample (2008) claimed that nanotechnologist
have voiced their concern on the insufficient safety testing done on the products. This was proven
when out of 67 companies approached by Which?, a leading magazine, only 8 shared the usage of
nanotechnology in their products (Sample). Another reason that might contribute to the lack of testing
done on nanotechnology product agreed by both Herman & Kuechel and Sample is that companies
are reluctant to share their venture into nanotechnology with the public as it requires full disclosure of
production procedure.
On the contrary, the potential negative effect of nanotechnology used in cosmetics creates
concern among experts. As it is known, both titanium dioxide and zinc oxide which are already
existing in the environment, are the main ingredients in the production of sunscreen creams and
lotions (Hall et al., 2007; Herman&Kuechel, 2007; Sample,2008). Herman and Kuechel alongside
Sample further added that nanomaterials can become toxic to humans. The usage of titanium dioxide,
due to its properties whereby it can reflect and scatter UV light, is commonly used in sun screens to
provide protection for the skin. Question has been raised on whether the formula remaining on the
skin could age it prematurely hence bringing in demands for further testing to be done on the effect of
titanium dioxide contained sun screens especially on damaged skin. On the other hand, Hall et al.
argued that no adverse effects were observed in a study run by the US FDA and in Europe although
the titanium oxide was injected directly into the blood stream. Hall et al. also further supports this by
stating that regardless if the skin is damaged, nanoparticles do not cross skin barrier. Despite all the
potential consequences posed by using nanomaterials in cosmetics, so far FDA has yet to discover any
evidence relating to the danger of nanotechnology in cosmetics (Herman & Kuechel). On the whole,
FDA and other government agencies are still carrying out research on nanotechnology to investigate if
products created using nanoparticles do bring harm to consumers (Herman & Kuechel; Sample).
In conclusion, despite the overwhelming benefits of nanotechnology in the cosmetics field,
consumers must use the product with extra precaution. Current studies however had shown that these
nano-sized particles could possibly bring more harm than good to users (Sample, 2008). Thus, until
affirmative results are obtained regarding the effect of nanotechnology products on human, extra
precaution is advisable.
Reference
Hall, B., Tozer, S., Coroama, M., Steling, W., Leneveu-Duchemin, M.C., McNamara, C., &
Gibney, M. (2007,
November). European consumer exposure to cosmetic
products, a framework for conducting population exposure assessments
(adbridged). Food and Chemical Toxicology, 45(11), pp. 2097-2108.
Herman, P. & Kuechel, M. (2007, July 24). Nanotechnology Skin deep. Nanowerk News.
Retrieved from http://www.scrippsnews.com/node/25586

Sample, I. (2008, November 5). Use of nanoparticles in cosmetics questioned. The


Guardian, p.16

SAMPLE SYNTHESIS
Nanotechnology in Cosmetics: Safe or Threat?
The use of nanotechnology in consumers daily products has been
increasing steadily especially in cosmetic products. The general term specifies on
many scientific discipline dealing with characterisation and development of
material at one billionth of a meter scale (Hall et al., 2007). In short,
nanotechnology is the science of manipulating matter on the molecular level
(Sample, 2008). Nanotechnology has its own types in cosmetic products, its
advantages, disadvantages and safety risk issues.
Despite the general term used in defining nanotechnology, the nanos used
in cosmetics varies from nanos used in industrial sectors in terms of its physical
attributes, function and environmental interaction. Nanotechnologies used in
cosmetics are mainly nanoemulsion and nanopigments (Hall et.al., 2007).
Nanoemulsion contain nanometric oil and water droplets to elevate nutrious oil
content while preserving the consistency of the formula (Hall et.al.). On the other
hand, nanopigments are ready minerals in our environment that are mainly used
in sunscreens for their competency in reflecting and scattering ultraviolet (UV)
radiation preventing skin cancer (Hall et.al.).
There are many benefits of the use of nanotechnology in cosmetic
products. Herman and Kuechel (2007) mentioned that solid nanoparticles
penetrate skin better than conventional cream. Besides that, nanoparticles used
in sunscreen to avoid UV radiation (Sample, 2008) as nanopigments such as
titanium oxide and zinc oxide are present. Furthermore, in emulsions, vitamins
are protected from air inside nanometer sized bubbles (Hall et.al., 2007) to
preserve essentials in face cream (Sample). Nanoparticles are also used in
moisturizers to kill bacteria (Sample).
However, there are disadvantages in using nanotechnology for cosmetic
products. Many questions have been raised regarding the use of titanium oxide
causes prematurely-aged skin (Herman & Kuechel, 2007). Sample (2008) stated
that tiny particles can behave in unusual ways thus becoming toxic to skin
therefore posing danger. In addition, the lack of studies made to public provides
less easily available proof (Herman & Kuechel) because existing safety rules do
not take into account materials posing risk at nano scale (Sample) and
companies protecting nanotechnology rights as publishing it requires full
disclosure of method. However recently, studies done by European Union
concluded that nanoparticles do not intersect skin barriers thus causing no
adverse effects (Hall et.al., 2007). Moreover, FDA does not have any evidence
mentioning nanotechnologically manufactured material possesses risk ( Herman
& Kuechel).
On the whole, nanotechnology in cosmetics has its own benefits,
negatives and safety risk issues which still makes it a controversial issue. More
studies should be done in the future to prove its stand as nanotechnology is a
growing technology therefore a lot more to be discovered from it.
References
Hall, B., Tozer, S., Coroama, M., Steling, W., Leneveu-Duchemin, M.C.,

McNamara, C., & Gibney, M. (2007,


November). European consumer
exposure to cosmetic products, a framework for conducting population
exposure assessments (adbridged). Food and Chemical Toxicology, 45(11),
pp. 2097-2108.
Herman, P. & Kuechel, M. (2007, July 24). Nanotechnology Skin deep.
Nanowerk News. Retrieved from
http://www.scrippsnews.com/node/25586
Sample, I. (2008, November 5). Use of nanoparticles in cosmetics questioned.
The Guardian, p.16.