Why going nano?

Nanotechnology – the science of the very small. It used to be a science fiction, but now it’s a fact of everyday life. A nanometer is just one millionth of a millimeter-that’s how much a fingernail would grow in a second. More than a thousand products now widely available make use of the technology. Let’s consider the benefits and the risks inherent in the increasing use of nanotechnology.

Almost anywhere you look someone somewhere is using nanotechnology to alter value of the consumer products.

Nano in the high street is peering in the goods across the spectrum, but in a very simple way, so, for instance, if you’re buying clothes you can buy clothes which are stain resistant because they’ve got a nanotech coating on them; if you’re buying spoiling goods you can buy things like tennis rackets or golf clubs that are stronger than lighter because of the nanotech in them. If you’re buying cosmetics – there are a number of cosmetic items round there which claim to be better, make you feel younger, make you feel fresher because of nanotech.

But unless you look up in inventory you are unlikely to be aware when you buy a sunscreen or a lunchbox whether it contains nano particles. Manufacturers are under no obligation to tell the public that a product uses nanotechnology, and scientists are still not entirely sure what effect those particles could be having on people or the environment or whether they could be toxic.

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This entry was posted on Saturday, November 28th, 2009 at 17:16 and is filed under Nanotechnology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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