Public Release: 

Small is beautiful: A European view of nanotech cosmetics and safety

L'Oreal scientists address how Europe's 'precautionary principle' interacts with cutting-edge technology

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars/Science and Technology Innovation Program

WASHINGTON - BusinessWeek magazine claims the $60 billion international beauty products industry is "making a big bet on nanotech." Today, nearly a hundred cosmetics are in the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies online inventory of products identified by manufacturers as containing nanomaterials.

Critical to the success of nanotechnology cosmetics is consumer confidence in their safety. In Europe, regulators and companies are attempting to apply "The Precautionary Principle" across all sectors.

How does a company like Paris-based cosmetics leader L'Oreal--which ranks No. 6 among nanotechnology patent holders in the U.S.-- apply "The Precautionary Principle" to nanotechnology cosmetic products? What specific safety tests and post-market surveillance measures are used? How do U.S. and European regulations differ when applied to nanotechnology products? How does L'Oreal communicate with customers about this cutting-edge technology?

Scientists from L'Oreal will discuss these questions and more at a program on Thursday, June 5, 2008, in the auditorium of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC.

*** Webcast LIVE at www.wilsoncenter.org***

What: Small is Beautiful: A European View of Nanotechnology Cosmetics and Safety, from L'Oreal

Who: Dr. Francis Quinn, L'Oreal
Dr. Andrew Maynard, Chief Science Advisor, Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies

When: Thursday, June 5, 2008, 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
(A light lunch will be available from 12:15-12:45 p.m. in the 6th floor boardroom)

Where: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 6th Floor Auditorium. Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004.

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The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies was launched in 2005 by the Wilson Center and The Pew Charitable Trusts. It is a partnership dedicated to helping business, governments, and the public anticipate and manage the possible health and environmental implications of nanotechnology.

About Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology is the ability to measure, see, manipulate and manufacture things usually between 1 and 100 nanometers. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter; a human hair is roughly 100,000 nanometers wide. In 2007, nanotechnology was incorporated into more than $88 billion in manufactured goods. Lux Research projects that figure will grow to $2.6 trillion by 2014, or about 15% of total global output.

Media planning to cover the event should contact Colin Finan at (202) 691-4321 or at colin.finan@wilsoncenter.org.

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