The European Consumers’ Organisation (BEUC) and the European consumer voice in standardisation (ANEC) have just published a list of products sold in the EU that contain nanomaterials. The move comes as a reaction to what they perceive as a lack of safety regulation and precautions in what is still a field with unknown impacts on consumers.
Although the list is not all-inclusive, it is intended to draw attention to the fact that we all deserve the right to know that the products being sold to us have been tested appropriately.
It is incredibly worrying to hear that many of the products highlighted by the two organisations have not gone through adequate safety procedures – particularly given that nanomaterials still have many unknowns attached to them when it comes to human safety.
The other commendable thing that this call-to-action is asking for is that we all are allowed to play a role in the use of technological advancements in products that affect our daily lives. It is certainly a step in the right direction, because technology is advancing so rapidly that without such initiatives we will end up with very little say – or even knowledge – as to just what is going into the products that we purchase.
The fact that the use of nanomaterials in this way is not already regulated by law is cause for concern. Such advancements may very well lead to some fantastic and useful products, and indeed general improvements to our lives. But by just forging headlong without consideration, the risk of dangerous repercussions is made that much more real. It’s good to see that there are some people out there, with enough political and media clout, to stand up for all of us and put their foot down when they see practices which are unethical at best; and possibly catastrophic at worst.