The EU Jumps into the Deep-End of the Pool for Nanotech Product Labeling

The European Union does love its regulations. The latest one coming down the pike  apparently will be that all cosmetic manufacturers will be required to list any nanoparticles contained in their products marketed in the EU.

TNTLog has quickly reduced this latest EU regulation down to all the silly absurdities it implies:

“Grabbing a bottle at random from my wife’s dresser I find a long list of ingredients such as Methyl Glucech-20, PEG-12 Dimethicone, and Polyquaternium-4, and I can’t really see that putting Hydroxyethyl cellulose dimethyl diallylammonium chloride copolymer (nano), or (C8H16N)x.xCl.(C2H6O2)x  (nano) would make much difference compared with the power of the cosmetic company’s marketing machine.”

Sometimes regulations have unintended consequences that even the most conscientious bureaucrat might overlook, but in this case it is blatantly obvious to even the most casual observer that consumers will be led to believe that this label of “nano” serves as some kind of warning, when apparently it isn’t. 

The EU I am sure is anxious to demonstrate how proactive they are in regulating nanotech, but maybe they might start in a place that is not so prone to misunderstandings, problems and just sheer silliness. Maybe requiring Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) documentation for nanoparticles to protect workers might be a better place to start the whole labeling idea.

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Nanoclast

IEEE Spectrum’s nanotechnology blog, featuring news and analysis about the development, applications, and future of science and technology at the nanoscale.

Editor

 
Dexter Johnson
Madrid, Spain
 
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