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Government must listen to nano jury concerns

by Caroline Lucas Green Party MEP calls for a moratorium on nanotechnology


 

21-09-2005 -- With the release of the findings of the Nano Jury UK today, Green Party MEP Dr Caroline Lucas has reflected the juries concerns by calling for a moratorium on the use of all free-floating synthetic nano-particles. The move would include banning such products as L'Oreal's Plenitude, Lancome's Flash Bronzer Self-Tanning Face Gel and Vanicream Sunscreens.

Welcoming the precautionary approach of the Nano Jury - a panel made up of a cross section of British society - Dr Lucas said "It is imperative that Tony Blair listens to the concerns of this citizen's jury and imposes an immediate moratorium on the use of all free-floating synthetic nano-particles, such as those in use in many sunscreen lotions and cosmetics" 1

Praising the work of the Nano-Jury, Dr Lucas said "Nano Jury UK has been a valuable pilot experiment in the democratisation of science. It is absolutely right that scientific research and development should be driven by the values of society, not merely by commercial interests, and that is why the Government must listen to and act on the Jury's concerns".

 

Contact Green Party press office 0207 561 0282 press@greenparty.org.uk

Note : 1 free-floating refers to those particles not "fixed in the matrix": therefore cargo pants containing nanoparticles would not be subject to a moratorium because the particles are bound to the fibres of the trousers, but particles that have the potential to be ingested into the body such as those in sun screens would be not be permitted. The commercial value of nanotech stems from the simple fact that at the nano level quantum physics kicks in, meaning the properties of materials change. Titanium dioxide, for example, is used in sunscreens for its ability to reflect the sun's light and harmful UV rays. At its nanoscale, it stops reflecting light and therefore becomes transparent - and thus more commercially useful - while maintaining its ability to reflect harmful UV rays. Unfortunately, transparency isn't the only change. Scientists from Oxford have observed that at nanoscale titanium dioxide can also pass through the skin and damage the DNA of cells. Yet there is currently no legal requirement for any independent toxicity tests for these nanoscale particles.

Souce : URL http://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/2203


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