Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Investigation: Widely Used, Unregulated Nano-Particles Linked to Cancer, Other Major Diseases
A frightening report has come out on some of the nano-particles now present in close to 10,000 consumer products - everything from creams and cosmetics to icing, medicines, toothpaste and nutritional supplements. Mice that consumed the tiny particles suffered high levels of DNA damage and genetic instability associated with cancer, heart disease, neurological disease and aging, according to a study cited in a three-part AOL News investigation of nano-particles.
Nearly a million kilograms of nano-particles are produced and used each year in the U.S. alone, the story says - with virtually no government oversight. Labeling and safety compliance are generally left to manufacturers, while some government officials say they don't want to interfere in the industry's progress. The global market for the particles was $254 billion in 2005 and is expected to grow 10-fold by 2014. The 2011 U.S. federal budget has earmarked $1.8 billion in spending on nanotechnology.