FOR IMMEDIATE USE
CONTACT: Charles Miller
April 6, 2006
German Nano Consumer Product Causing Respiratory Problems
Demonstrates need for a more proactive approach to nano risks
In the last few days, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment in Germany issued a consumer alert regarding
serious respiratory problems arising from the use of a group of aerosol spray products that contain nanoparticles.
Use of the products, made by Kleinmann and sold under the brand name “Magic Nano,” led to more than 100 calls
over a 10-day period to poison control centers in German, Switzerland and Austria and to the manufacturer by
people reporting significant respiratory problems. A number of the cases led to hospitalization and were
characterized by authorities as potentially life-threatening.
“There’s nothing ‘magic’ about people getting sick,” said Environmental Defense Senior Scientist Dr. Richard
Denison. “It remains to be seen whether this is an isolated incident or a harbinger of things to come. Isn’t it time
we learned to understand and address risks before we market products like these to consumers?”
Government authorities confirm that the products contain nanoparticles, although their specific identity has not
been disclosed. However, the exact cause of the respiratory effects has not yet been determined, and it is not clear whether
the nanoparticles in these products are responsible.
Nonetheless, this case is to our knowledge the first report of nanoparticle-containing products directly causing
adverse health effects directly in humans. It provides strong support and urgency to our calls to companies and
- develop sufficient information up front, prior to market introduction, on the potential hazards of
nanomaterials used in products to identify any potential risks;
- especially avoid dispersive uses of nanomaterials until sufficient information has been developed and
assessed to demonstrate their safety;