Issues & Experts
SFU expert on nanomaterials in sunscreens
Viridiana Perez, Department of Chemistry, (418) 271-9956, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah Lachance, Communications and Marketing, (778) 782-3210, email@example.com
Do you know what’s in your sunscreen? SFU chemistry postdoctoral fellow Viridiana Perez is an expert on nanomaterials—the tiny particles about a million times smaller than the average ant—that are used in mineral sunscreens for blocking the sun’s harmful rays.
Nanomaterials come in many shapes and sizes. They can be made from lipids, organic materials, or metals and they can have a surface coating. However, the different possible combinations of these attributes makes it difficult for researchers to generalize the safety of these particles when they interact with our cells. In addition, our lifestyle choices and other environmental factors can alter how our bodies react to certain nanomaterials.
Perez says while not all nanomaterials are toxic and many have beneficial uses in different applications, those that are should be better regulated. “it can be difficult for researchers to get information from manufacturers on the nanomaterials being used in products.,” says Perez, adding that more knowledge would help to properly identify and regulate the nanomaterials.
Perez is available today, August 15, and tomorrow, August 16, to speak about nanomaterials in sunscreen and other products including cosmetics and wound dressings, the possible ways consumers are exposed to them and their effects on living organisms and aquatic life. She is also able to speak about the risks associated with nanomaterials, their regulation and what consumers can do to help.
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