WHAT IS NANO ZINC OXIDE USED FOR?
Nano zinc oxide Powder is used in the cosmetic industry as a safe and effective ingredient in the manufacture of sunscreen. It imparts strong sun protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays. These nanoparticles have a high UV light absorption and do not break down from sun exposure. This provides effective protection from damaging rays that can lead to cancer. When sunscreen is applied, the zinc oxide remains atop the skin, absorbing, scattering and reflecting sun rays.
Zinc oxide nanoparticles are so small they become transparent in visible light but still retain their SPF-protective qualities. Nano zinc oxide also possesses anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-mould properties that help extend product life. As it lacks heavy metal compounds, it is also considered safe for use in baby care products.
Being a relatively new material, nano zinc oxide is also being tested and tried for use in other industries such as textiles. It is being applied in electrospinning to produce ultrathin fibres and is already being incorporated in facemask production as an additional layer of protection against the Covid-19 virus.
Zinc oxide is also used in the manufacture of industrial products like rubbers, paints, and plastics. Its ability to protect against sun damage and prolong the life of products is established. It also has high chemical stability, electrical, optical and thermal properties that make it highly multifunctional.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ZINC OXIDE AND NON-NANO ZINC OXIDE?
Nano refers to particle size, with a nanometer being one billionth of a meter. A nanoparticle is anything smaller than 100 nanometers. Non-nano refers to particles larger than 100 nanometers. There is some concern that the very small sizing of nano zinc oxide may allow the particles to cross the skin barrier. Though studies show this worry is unfounded, it has led many businesses to make a distinction between the products that use nano zinc oxide and those that are non-nano zinc oxide.
It is difficult to tell if a product is entirely free of nanoparticles. Such particles are difficult to measure and come in a variety of shapes. EU standards class a product as containing nanoparticles when more than 50% of the particles, including aggregates and agglomerates, in the number size distribution measure in the 1-100nm range. If less than 50%, they can be classified as non-nano zinc oxide. The US FDA has yet to provide a definition that distinguishes nano from non-nano zinc oxide.