The Organics Council ® is concerned about the contamination of consumer goods with nanoparticles. Many products today expose both humans and the environment to nanoparticles during various stages of production, in spite of a lack of extensive knowledge on potential toxic effects and with no data available on the levels of exposure.

Nanoparticles often have different physical and toxicological properties to their larger counterparts, and as yet, little is known about their impact on our health and the world around us. Therefore, the Organics Council ® is against the use of any engineered nanoscale substances or materials, nor do we support products using nanotechnology.

Naturally occurring nanoparticles are very common, and many of these are considered completely safe when used correctly, as they pose no threat to health. The Organics Council ® supports the use of substances that contain a natural nanoscale component variance, provided that there is no risk of health or environmental contamination.

The deliberate addition of nanoparticles into food and other products is an alarming industrial trend. One of the most common examples is titanium dioxide (TiO2). This inert compound is considered a relatively safe material by industries, and it is used for its whiteness, brightness and ultraviolet (UV) light-reflective properties in products ranging from paints to cosmetics, sunscreens and even food. Nevertheless, there is little research into the nanocomposition of this substance, while nanoparticles are known to penetrate human cells.

The current regulatory set-up does not mandate the inclusion of safety data sheets or other safety information on packaging labels to inform of nanoparticles presence in goods. The Organics Council ® is working towards minimising exposure to not yet fully tested nanomaterials (see Organics Council ® Nanoparticle position statement).