NANOTECHNOLOGY - BENEFITS AND SAFETY

Nanotechnology, science at the nanoscale (one nanometer = one billionth of a meter), is offering potential solutions and applications across a wide variety of fields. Researchers in university, government and company labs are looking into how recent advances in these nanosciences can be used to bring value to consumers and provide sustainable innovations for society. The benefits may be great, but the risks have to be treated with precaution. As with any emerging technology, before introducing a product on the market, P&G would need to be certain that any nanomaterials or nanoparticles they may someday use are considered safe to consumers, employees, animals and the environment.
  • What is Nanotechnology?

    Nanotechnology is multidisciplinary science and engineering conducted at the nanoscale (the scale of atoms and molecules). A nanometer is one billionth of a meter (10-9 m). For perspective, a single human hair is about 80,000 nm wide and a cubic meter of air in an urban environment can contain between two to five billion nanoparticles.
  • What are Nanomaterials / Nanoparticles?

    P&G defines nanomaterials as solid phase, biologically insoluble materials with a primary particle size between 1-100 nm in one or more dimensions. Nanoparticles can have beneficial physical or chemical properties and can consist of pure elements, simple compounds or composites in the form of powders, coatings and sprays. Engineered nanomaterials typically possess nanostructure-dependent properties (e.g. chemical, mechanical, electrical) that make them desirable for commercial or medical applications. However, some fear that those same properties may lead to nanostructure-dependent activity that differs from the bulk properties of the constituent chemicals and compounds. A wide variety of academic institutions, governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations and private industries are engaged in research to ensure that nanotechnology applications are both safe and effective.
  • Why Consider Nanoparticles?

    The science of nanotechnology is attractive to product developers because nanoparticles offer the potential to enhance product performance or introduce new capabilities. P&G and other consumer product companies are considering applications of nanotechnologies such as nano-enabled cleaning solutions, coatings for textiles and hard surfaces, enhanced skin-care protection from harmful UV radiation, and other applications that can improve the lives of the world’s consumers. Safety to humans, animals and the environment remains a priority in any new developments.
  • P&G and Nanotechnology

    Procter & Gamble believes nanotechnology opens up many possibilities to boost performance, reduce environmental impact, and improve sustainability in many consumer product categories. However, as with any new technology, the potential for adverse effects must be understood and the technology advanced only as fast as our ability to thoroughly evaluate it.

    That is why we are taking an appropriately cautious approach with nanotechnologies. In addition to our own research programmes, we are also working together with others in the industry, with university labs, and with government scientists to ensure the right tools are in place for the responsible development of this promising technology. We have a 170 year track record of using sound science to evaluate new technologies. We are applying that experience to pursue the benefits nanotechnology can bring to our products for generations to come.

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Illustrations from P&G's Science-in-the-Box website can be used freely for educational, non-commercial purposes provided that the source will be published as follows: "Obtained from www.scienceinthebox.com (P&G website)"

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