Monday, October 1, 2012

Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles to be Placed in Clothes to ‘Eat’ Pollution

Lisa Garber
Natural Society
October 1, 2012

Effortlessly clean up your town’s polluted air with your favorite pair of jeans – that is what is trying to be done. If this sounds too good to be true, it’s because it is.

“CatClo,” a liquid laundry additive with titanium dioxide nanoparticles, is the collaborative work of the University of Sheffield and the London College of Fashion. All your clothes would need is one cycle with this additive—because the nanoparticles very stubbornly stick to the fabrics—to remove pollutants like nitrogen oxide in the air and oxidize them in the fabric.

The University of Sheffield website firmly says that the pollutants treated thusly in the presence of daylight do not produce other pollution hazards and are “harmlessly” removed when the clothes return to the wash—“if they haven’t already been dissipated harmlessly in sweat.”

Possible Carcinogen

“Harmlessly” may be a stretch, if not a lie. Titanium dioxide dust has been linked by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a possible carcinogen. Because it would be in nanoparticle form attached to fabric, titanium dioxide may be able to breach the blood-brain barrier, especially if absorbed through skin via sustained wear or sweat.

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