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Monday 24th October 2016

Ban on 'nanoparticles'

15th January 2008

The Soil Association has said that products will not be able to display the "organic" label if they are made with nanoparticles.


Nanoparticles is the name given to tiny particles which measure less than 125 nanometres. Nanotechnology industries are growing and their use in products was said to be a cause for "concern" by the Association.

Steffi Friedrichs, Nanotechnology Industries Association director, said the new decision had the potential to “confuse the consumer�.

Banning the use of nanoparticles will hit suncreen and beauty product manufacturers particularly hard. Food and drink products represent the top sellers in the organic industry, but demand for organic cosmetic products is increasing and it is an expanding sector.

The Soil Association said that the use of nanoparticles within health and beauty products “poses a serious new threat to human health�. Many large manufacturers, including Boots and L’Oréal, use the particles in their beauty products.

Gundula Azeez, Soil Association policy manager, said that the decision on the use of nanoparticles would not come into effect "immediately" but was meant to "signal" future policy.

In the health and cosmetic industry, the Soil Association gives the "organic" certification to 2,600 products originating from 80 different manufacturers.

Experts have raised their concerns that the tiny particles could enter the skin and permeate into the body. The Association said the Soltan sunscreen, manufactured by Boots, could be "potentially hazardous".

A spokesperson for Boots said: “Optisol, the form of microfine titanium dioxide used in some Soltan products, does not penetrate the skin and does not represent a safety risk to consumers.�

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