Translated from German

Frankfurt/Main (AP) the Federal Office for Environment Protection (UBA) warns in a new study of possible health dangers from products, which are manufactured with nano-technology. Affected are among other things food, articles of clothing and cosmetics. In the published investigation on Wednesday the UBA recommends to avoid products with the tiny particles as for a long time as “their effects in the environment and on the human health is still to a large extent unknown”.

Besides the authority in Dessau Roßlau requests the policy makers to create legal basic conditions for safe handling nano-materials. It demands a marking obligation and a population register for products with nano-particles. According to the report more than 800 enterprises would be affected in Germany, which are active in the nano-technology.
The technology is among other things applied, in order to restrain into textiles the growth of bacteria and thus to prevent or suppress bad smell or used in sun creams to stop UV rays hold and to prevent the formation of a grey veil in the chocolates. Nano-technically optimized plastics can lower the weight with cars or airplanes and help thus to save fuel.
“With the development of Nano-technology new products and applications increasingly become significant”, explains the authority. In the market come a rapidly growing number of products, which probably positively influence the “environment and economy”. But the effects of the nano-materials in the environment and possible health risks for humans are still insufficiently investigated. Nano-particles with increasing application were spread nevertheless increased in ground, water and air.
Particles released produced pneumonia in rats
The respiratory system is probably the most important way for nano-particles to enter inside the body, which are not visible with the naked eye. This is proved by scientific studies would be present, it was said. Therefore the particles could penetrate deep into the lungs and cause inflammations there. In the animal experiment with rats the particles damaged DNA. Besides it is reported that nano-particles from carbon can cause illnesses, which are similar to those from asbestos fibers with animals.
From food nano-particle can enter into the gastro-intestinal tract. The few available studies refer according to data of the authority a very small amount can be absorbed through the skin into the body. The UBA explains however: “Intact healthy skin is obviously an effective barrier to titanium dioxide nano-particles.”
The experts of the UBA regard it “urgently required” as to recognize and evaluate health risks of the nano-technology. The manufacturers would have to reveal in addition their results for risk evaluation. If the possible risks can be identified and minimized, the Federal Office for Environment Protection supports the promotion of the nano-technology in applications which reduce environmental pollutions.

Associated Press