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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: You can’t see them, but nanomaterials are in lots of consumer products these days. However there isn’t much regulation. Janet Babin reports from the Marketplace Innovations Desk at North Carolina Public Radio.
JANET BABIN: The number of nano-based consumer products on the market has more than doubled in the past 14 months. The list now contains 475 entries.
The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies has chronicled this increase. It created an online searchable database of nanoproducts.
The biggest gains came in the cosmetic and dietary supplement categories, with products like Lancôme eye cream and a nano B-12 vitamin spray.
David Rejeski directs the project. He says the consumer database offers information, but doesn’t guarantee a product is safe or effective.
DAVID REJESKI: We don’t test the products. We’re not in a position to actually test them. We’re going only on manufacturer’s claims. And if they seem, I would say, rational and believable, then we put the product in the inventory.
Rejeski says U.S. regulators also rely on manufacturers’ claims when deciding whether a nanoproduct is safe.
I’m Janet Babin for Marketplace.
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