Nanotech creeps into 500 'everyday' products

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Nanotech creeps into 500 'everyday' products

GLOBAL - The number of consumer products using nanotechnology has more than doubled from 212 to 475 in the past 14 months, researchers revealed today.

'Everyday' products containing some nanotechnology include clothing, cosmetics, bedding, jewellery, sporting goods, and nutritional and personal care items, according to the latest report from the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies.

The report noted that nanoscale silver is the most often used nanomaterial, found in 95 products or 20 per cent of the inventory. Carbon, including carbon nanotubes and fullerenes, is the second most often used.

The food and beverages category, including containers and dietary supplements, doubled to 61 products since last year.

America led the international nano-tech league with 247 consumer products containing nanotechnology. East Asia now boasts 123 products, a 58 per cent increase over last year.

The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies stated that most Americans know " little or nothing about nanotechnology" despite it being incorporated into more than US$30bn worth of manufactured goods in 2005.

An estimated US$2.6 trillion worth of manufactured goods - or about 15 per cent of total global output - will incorporate nanotechnology by 2014, according to figures from Lux Research.

"The use of nanotechnology in consumer products and industrial applications is growing rapidly, and the products listed in the inventory show just the tip of the iceberg," said Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies science advisor Andrew Maynard.

"How consumers respond to these early products - in food, electronics, health care, clothing and cars - will be a litmus test for broader market acceptance of nanotechnologies in the future."
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