The invisible helpers and their dark sides

Nanoparticles - long-term consequences unknown? BASF / Nature Nanotechnology / Furmanj
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They are in sun creams, clothing, kitchen utensils and even in food: Nanoparticles have long been a rarity in our everyday lives. The tiny helpers should disinfect, bleach, or protect against harmful UV radiation. But what are the consequences of these nanoparticles, which are increasingly reaching the environment and the food chain, for humans and animals?

Recently, however, there are increasing studies that prove the harmful effects of nanoparticles: The particles poison aquatic organisms into the next generation, disrupt the growth of algae and microbes in water bodies, can damage lung cells as nanotubes and accumulate in crops.

Products containing nanoparticles do not yet have to be explicitly marked. For cosmetics, this will be introduced from the middle of 2013 in the EU, for food presumably from 2014 onwards. But that does little to change the fact that these particles can also enter the food chain and thus our bodies via detours.

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Nadja Podbregar
Stand: 08.03.2013