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January 20, 2023

French NGO Claims Certain Everyday Products Contain Unlabeled Nanomaterials

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

L’association de veille et d’information civique sur les enjeux des nanosciences et nanotechnologies (AVICENN), a French non-governmental organization (NGO), announced on December 15, 2022, publication of a report entitled Searching for [Nanos] in Everyday Products. AVICENN sought to obtain an “overview of ‘nano impregnation’ in everyday consumer products in 2021-2022.” AVICENN selected products from categories already tested (food products, cosmetics, and medicines) to determine if any change was found and products where the presence of nanomaterials was suspected but not previously publicly tested (hygiene products, toys, clothing, and packaging). Because of the expense of testing, AVICENN states that it had to limit its investigation to 23 products. AVICENN acknowledges that its investigation “is therefore by nature qualitative and does not claim to be exhaustive or representative.” AVICENN reports that it found nanomaterials in 20 products in the cosmetics, hygiene and health, food, toys, and paint categories. AVICENN states that its results show the “failure” of [nano] labeling, given that most of the products in which it detected nanomaterials are covered by the European Union’s (EU) “nano” labeling requirements for cosmetics, food products, and biocidal products. According to AVICENN, the presence of nanomaterials in other product categories highlights the need to extend the [nano] labeling requirements to other product categories.