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FDA Drafts New Guidelines For Nanotechnology

OPB | April 20, 2012 6:28 a.m. | Updated: June 7, 2013 10:24 a.m. | Portland, OR

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued new draft guidelines on the use of nanotechnology in cosmetics and food.

Nanotech involves the use of materials that are so small, they can’t be seen under a regular microscope.

So if a human cell is the size of a football, then a nano particle is the size of a BB pellet. Such particles can travel into the body and around the bloodstream, but their health effects aren’t well known.

The new guidelines asks food manufacturers to consult with the FDA, if they plan to incorporate nano particles into their products. For cosmetics, manufactures don’t need premarket approval, but they are liable for the safety of their products.

FDA spokesman, Curtis Allen, says they’re going to look at products on a case-by-case basis.

“We’re not making assumptions about nano materials in foods or cosmetics on a broad basis. We will make decisions about nano materials on a product by product basis.”

Manufacturers would not have to follow the guidelines, they’re voluntary. People now have 90 days to comment.

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