Frequently asked questions

• Are nanomaterials required to be licensed?

No. But although licensing is currently not mandatory for nano materials or nano products, they, like any other chemical, must be approved depending on their use and must be safe in accordance with the Chemicals Act. Food is an exception to the rule: The nano-modified food additives that have been given new properties are required to pass a special approval procedure even if their name has been licensed before. Food packaging that contain nanoparticles do not have to be approved, but by law must not release any nano substances into the food.

Source: DaNa2.0
Acquisition, evaluation and public-oriented presentation of society-relevant data and findings relating to nanomaterials (DaNa) www.nanopartikel.info

• Are the legal regulations sufficient?

Are legal regulations like chemical legislation and work protection law sufficient to take the special properties of nanoparticles into account?

Chemicals (this includes nano materials) are subject to chemical legislation, safety and health for employees at work are subject to safety and health regulations. Since 1 July 2008 the European chemicals legislation REACH additionally provides a framework for the assessment of nano materials. Whether there is a need for specific action apart from that is investigated in research projects like NanoCare. The results of NanoCare will help in defining future safety measures for nano materials.

Source: DaNa2.0
Acquisition, evaluation and public-oriented presentation of society-relevant data and findings relating to nano materials (DaNa) www.nanopartikel.info

• Can nanoparticles be released from nano-finished sinks or washbowls and the like and can they pass into the body?

Most of such nano-finished sanitary ware is surface-structured and exhibits the dirt-repellent lotus effect that is typical of leaves. This effect helps keep surfaces clean or serves to make them easily cleanable. However, this is not achieved by using nanoparticles or by applying them to the respective surfaces but by treating the latter with chemicals. Occasionally, some manufacturers may aftertreat the surfaces with nanoparticles. Details should be requested from them directly or from the selling shop. The probability of getting exposed to nanoparticles released from surface-structured products is very low.

Source: DaNa2.0
Acquisition, evaluation and public-oriented presentation of society-relevant data and findings relating to nano materials (DaNa) www.nanopartikel.info

• Do you have technical support for technical questions?

Yes, we have a team of experienced specialists who gladly will help you with answers to your questions.

• How can I recognize whether a product contains nanoparticles?

At the moment, not at all: On the one hand, products that do not contain any nano substances are advertised as “nano”, on the other hand, there is no obligation to label products that do contain nanoparticles. This will change in the cosmetics (and food) industry: From 2013 (food industry: from fall 2014), nano-ingredients must be labelled on the respective products.

Source: DaNa2.0
Acquisition, evaluation and public-oriented presentation of society-relevant data and findings relating to nanomaterials (DaNa) www.nanopartikel.info

• How can you order products at NWT International BV?

You can phone us or email us (see CONTACT).

• Is it nano when the label says it is?

Many companies promote their products as “nano” because nanotechnology is in vogue today: Software companies, for instance, offer “nanotools”, i.e. small additional programs that adapt existing software to the special needs of computer users. Tata “Nano” is a very small car manufactured by the Indian vehicle manufacturer Tata Motors. Car washes praise their “nano” polishes which contain finest substances for extra-brilliant finishes. For all that, nano materials are not always used or contained in the respective products. So far, there are neither regulations as to the conditions under which manufacturers are allowed to pride themselves in selling “nano” nor as to when it is mandatory to label the use of nano materials (with exceptions in the food law and cosmetics law that have been enacted to become effective in the coming years). Yet, some products really contain nano substances. Suncreams, for example, have been offered for a while with very fine titanium dioxide powders used as physical sun protection agents.

Source: DaNa2.0
Acquisition, evaluation and public-oriented presentation of society-relevant data and findings relating to nano materials (DaNa) www.nanopartikel.info

• Nano technology and health risks?

In the BAuA research report it is established that modified nano material for surfaces do not have a harmful impact after inhalation, as formerly expected. The researchers examined in different experiments with different standard methods the nano material titanium oxide (TiO2) and compared the results. One of the results was that inhaled particles were only absorbed in the cell tissue of the lungs in minute quantities. This shows that nano particles are not easily penetrating cell membranes, which was a concern about nano technology. This establishes that absorption by the body of nano particles does not form health risks as formerly thought it would.

BAuA is a research institution of the German Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

• Research into the safety of nanoparticles: No nano-dust danger from façade paint!

After 42 months the EU research project «NanoHouse» has ended, and the verdict is a cautious "all clear" – nanoparticles in the paint used on building façades do not represent a particular health risk. In the course of a «Technology Briefing» Empa researchers discussed these results with specialists from the construction industry. Five Empa laboratories were involved in the EU «NanoHouse» project, along with four other European research institutes and four industrial partners. The aim of the project was to investigate the opportunities and risks presented by the nanomaterials used in the surface coatings applied to building façades. For the first time not only were freshly manufactured products studied to see if they set free nanoparticles, but also aged samples.

Astonishingly little is released to the environment.
Bernd Nowack, head of Empa's Environmental Risk Assessment and Management group, then presented the results of the investigations into how much nanomaterial is set free from façades. The release rate is generally very low – only 1 to 2% of the nanoparticles find their way into the environment. And in most cases they are released not as nanoparticles but bound to large paint particles, which significantly reduces their nano-scale effects.

For the full research article please go to http://www.empa.ch/plugin/template/empa/*/143652/.

• What are the main products in our collection?

Nano-hybrid coating, -impregnation and -additive products and Nano-hybrid cleaning products.

• What does H.A.C.C.P. stand for?

Hazardous Analyses Critical Control Points. These are hygienic conditions which apply to the production, preparation, serving and offering of food products.

• What is a nanomaterial?

On 18 October 2011 the EU Commission adopted the Recommendation on the definition of a nanomaterial. According to this Recommendation a "Nanomaterial" means:
A natural, incidental or manufactured material containing particles, in an unbound state or as an aggregate or as an agglomerate and where, for 50 % or more of the particles in the number size distribution, one or more external dimensions is in the size range 1 nm - 100 nm.
In specific cases and where warranted by concerns for the environment, health, safety or competitiveness the number size distribution threshold of 50 % may be replaced by a threshold between 1 and 50 %.
By derogation from the above, fullerenes, graphene flakes and single wall carbon nanotubes with one or more external dimensions below 1 nm should be considered as nano materials.

Source: DaNa2.0
Acquisition, evaluation and public-oriented presentation of society-relevant data and findings relating to nanomaterials (DaNa) www.nanopartikel.info

• What is inorganic pollution?

Pollution, which is synthetic or fabricated, not poisonous, but can provide a danger to the environment when used extensively.

• What is nano titanium coating?

This is a product in the nanospectrum. It are tiny particles which coat and are self-cleaning. The self-cleaning action is carried out by the active component titanium oxide.

• What is nano-hybrid technology?

This is one of the latest developments in the nanotechnology. A nano-hybrid product is a combination of organic and inorganic materials that has been produced on a nano scale. Nano-hybrid materials have unique qualities, which are not present in either the organic or inorganic compounds themselves. Furthermore, these nano-hybrid materials have unique capacities like excellent flexibility, mechanical strength and thermal stability. New Way Technology BV uses nano-hybrid technology and is the first to use natural materials, which are environmentally safe.

• What is nanotechnology?

Nanotechnology is a technique that makes it possible to work with particles less than one billionth of a metre (nanometre). In comparison, a human hair is 80,000 nanometre in diametre. With this technique one can protect surfaces and materials from pollution and create a water (oil, acid etc.) repellent action.

• What is pH?

The pH value corresponds with acidity of the product and can vary from 1 to 14. A pH-value of 7,0 is neutral. When the pH of a product is lower than 7, it is considered acidic. When it is higher than 7, it is considered to be alkaline.

• What is REACH?

REACH is a European regulation for chemical compounds. It stands for Registration, Evaluation, Autorisation and Restriction of Chemical substances. A company has to know the risks of compounds it produces, uses or passes on to customers. It also has to take measures to control those risks.

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