No nano in Magic Nano
The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) in Berlin has confirmed that 'Magic Nano,' the protective glass and bathroom sealant that was recalled in late March in Germany after causing severe breathing problems for some consumers, did not contain any nanoparticles, according to a report in Small Times:
"We can exclude the possibility that [the breathing problems] had anything to do with nanoparticles," the Institute's Rene Zimmer said.
It is still unclear, Zimmer said, what caused the breathing problems in consumers. Previously, experts thought that the breathing problems may have been caused by tiny aerosol droplets of the solvent that penetrated deep into the lungs.
In the U.S., Sean Murdock of the NanoBusiness Alliance, the U.S. trade association of the nanotech industry, said this latest twist in the 'Magic Nano' saga "points to the need not to be reactionary." He was referring to the ETC group, a Canadian-based civil society organization that in April, in response to the 'Magic Nano' recall, had renewed its own earlier call for a global moratorium on nanotech research and a recall of consumer products that contain nanoparticles. "Until the facts come in, we don't know," Murdoch said.
But Jim Thomas of the ETC group said a moratorium is still justified to have enough time to establish safety testing and labeling standards for nano tech products. "The point of a moratorium is to give you time to establish safety," he said.
The recall may already have harmed the reputation of the label 'nano,' even if it now turns out that no nanoparticles were involved, said David Rejeski, the director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies. "First impressions matter," he said. (photo Federal Institute for Risk Assessment)