Consider the following statements:
- Other than those made by humans, nanoparticles do not exist in nature.
- Nanoparticles of some metallic oxides are used in the manufacture of some cosmetics.
- Nanoparticles of some commercial products which enter the environment are unsafe for humans.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
[UPSC Civil Services Exam – 2022 Prelims]
(a) 1 only
(b) 3 only
(c) 1 and 2
(d) 2 and 3
- A nanoparticle is a small particle that ranges between 1 to 100 nanometres in size.
- They could be generated by natural processes or could be made artificially and released into the environment.
- Among metal and metal oxide nanoparticles potentially present in cosmetics, those containing titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are common ingredients added to obtain sufficient sun protection. The silver and gold nanoparticles are also added to increase the antimicrobial and healing properties of some cosmetic formulations.
- Impact of Nanoparticles:
- They can accumulate in the environment, and contaminate water and soil.
- They can enter food chains.
- They can trigger the production of free radicals.
- Nanoparticles may cross cell membranes.
- Nanoparticles can reach the blood and may reach other target sites such as the liver, heart, or blood cells and may cause damage to cells as they stay for a persistently long time.