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March 11, 2011

PEN Reports Increase in Nano-Enabled Consumer Products

Lynn L. Bergeson

On March 10, 2011, the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) announced the most recent update to its consumer products inventory, which now includes more than 1,300 manufacturer-identified, nanotechnology-enabled products, ranging from conventional products, such as non-stick cookware, to more unique items, like self-cleaning window treatments. When PEN launched its inventory in March 2006, it included 212 products. PEN Director David Rejeski predicted that, if the current trend continues, the number of products could reach 3,400 by 2020. Health and fitness items continue to dominate the PEN inventory, representing 56 percent of products listed. The most common nanomaterial used is nanoscale silver, which is used in 313 products (24 percent of the inventory). The inventory includes products from over 30 countries, including the U.S., China, Canada, Germany, and India.