Out of 23 everyday products tested by AVICENN, 20 contain nanos, unlabelled, and sometimes unauthorized


AVICENN today publishes its rapport investigative « Searching for nanos in everyday products »

AVICENN publishes today its inquiry report on nanos in everyday productsThis survey was carried out over XNUMX months. It reveals the presence of nanos unlabeled, sometimes not allowed, in 20 of 23 everyday products tested.

Faced with the lack of information, an investigation to better understand consumer exposure

Following the survey of 60 millions de consommateurs on 18 food products in 2017and that of Que Choisir on 20 products, AVICENN wanted to havemore knowledge on "nano impregnation" of everyday consumer products in 2021-2022..

AVICENN thus sent 23 everyday consumer products, and of various categories – food products, cosmetics, textiles, hygiene, paint, etc. – at the National Metrology and Testing Laboratory (LNE). Laboratory tests are the only reliable – but very expensive – way to check the presence (or not) of nanos in end products.

Test results: out of 23 products tested, 20 contain nanos

The results reveal the presence of nanos – unlabeled and sometimes even unauthorized – in 20 products tested, including:

  • products for children : Guigoz infant milk, Snazaroo party make-up, Signal Kids toothbrush, etc.
  • or commonly used by older people : anticoagulant medicine, L'Oréal spray to cover white hair...
  • but also products found in many shopping carts : cosmetics (L'Oréal, Nivea, Labello), Herta pastry, Aosta ham, Solgar vitamin C, Royal Canin dog food, Nana period panties, Uniqlo men's underpants, etc.

The main findings

More nanos than expected and some new questions...

We selected products that, although not labeled “nano”, were more likely than others to contain nanos. And yet we were surprised at the high proportion of products containing nanos, as well as discovering nanosilica in food products with no mention of silica in the list of ingredients, or nanoparticles of titanium dioxide (TiO2) in the underpants and in the blotting cloth under the cutlet of chicken.

These results question the extent of the use of nanos in everyday products and show the relevance – and even the necessity – to use new existing tools and think outside the box by going for nanos in commonly used items.

Assessment of [nano] labelling: a real fiasco!

The results show how much the failure of [nano] labelling. Although not labeled "nano", the majority of products in which we have detected nano are covered by theEuropean “nano” labeling obligation which has prevailed for almost ten years for cosmetics, food products, biocidal products.

The presence of nanos in other product categories highlights the need to extend the [nano] labeling obligation to product categories which are unfortunately still not covered nowadays.

Many unauthorized nanos

Our tests have also revealed, to an unsuspected extent, the fact that unauthorized nanos are commonly used. This is particularly the case:

  • colorants containing titanium dioxide nanoparticles and iron oxide nanorods in cosmetic products,
  • nanosilver in hygiene and health products.

Our requests

Due to the health and environmental risks associated with nanomaterials, AVICENN makes three requests at the end of the report:

1 – improving knowledge on commercialized nanomaterials, in particular thanks to the improvement of the r-nano register (ten years after its creation, this register remains a real sieve) and the establishment of a European register of products containing nanos ; better assessing their risks, by involving companies who import, produce or use it;

2 – increasing transparency on these nanomaterials with, among other things, the intensification of controls and sanctions in the event of non-compliance with legal obligations (whether in terms of labelling, registration, and/or authorisation);

3 – developing collective vigilance on nanos with in particular the implementation of a generalized obligation toassess the benefit/risk ratio and the collective utility of nanomaterials BEFORE their commercialization. It is also urgent to implement specific measures concerning nanos that escape the new European recommendation for the definition of the term “nanomaterial” : due to the announced transposition of the latter into the regulation governing cosmetics and the “novel foods” under review, the risk is great indeed that many nanos come out of the radar of public authorities !

They talk about our investigation

The investigation report is also available in French

The English version of our report is now available, do not hesitate to distribute it to your English-speaking contacts who may be interested: Searching for nanos in everyday products

The next nano meetings

Unnoticed and ungoverned: How nanomaterials are slipping through the cracks (ECOS, Brussels and online)
Brussels and online
  • Hybrid event (face-to-face and online)
  • Organizers: Environmental Coalition on Standards (ECOS), Friends of the Earth Germany (FEDERATION)
  • Speakers: representatives of the European Commission, civil society and research  
  • Website : https://ecostandard.org/…
NanoSafe conference 2023 (CEA, Grenoble)
  • 8th International Conference on Health Issues for a Responsible Approach to Nanomaterials
  • June 5-9, 2023
  • Organizer: Commissariat for Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies (CEA)
  • Website : www.cea.fr/cea-tech/pns/nanosafe/…  
How the world deals with Materials on the Nanoscale – Responsible Use and Challenges (OECD-BMUV, Berlin)
  • International conference from June 22 to 23, 2023
  • Organizers: OECD, German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV)
  • Website : https://www.bmuv.de/…