Standards gives consumers guidance on Nanotechnology

Consumers are concerned about the effects of nanomaterials and potential risks of nanotechnology and its products on the environment, health and safety.

Molecular model

Nanotechnology is a revolutionary new technology and a key economic driver for the twenty-first century. Nanotechnology can be converged with other areas such as medicine, biotechnology, electronics etc., to produce new processes, devices and products for a variety of areas, including energy, health and water. Nanomaterials are very small (in the nanometer range) and are used in everyday consumer products such as clothes, cosmetics, sporting equipment and dietary supplements.

Standards Australia’s Nanotechnology Committee (NT-001) coordinates Australian input into ISO Nanotechnology Technical Committee (ISO/TC 229) and disseminates information about ISO nanotechnology Standards in Australia. CFA has a representative on the committee representing the consumer interest and putting forward the end user and public interest perspectives in the development of this standard. ISO has recently produced a document (ISO/TS 13830) Guidance on the Voluntary Labelling for Consumer Products containing manufactured Nano-objects, which it hopes manufacturers will use when producing products containing manufactured nano-objects to inform consumer choice. Work is also progressing on a Plain Language Guide for non-scientific people to become more familiar with the terms used in nanotechnology.

CSIRO believes nanotechnology offers a wide range of economic, social and environmental benefits to Australia. Through development of new products and processes, nanotechnology will potentially contribute solutions to major issues facing Australia, including:

  • renewable energy sources
  • increased strength in our manufacturing industries
  • secure water supplies
  • improved human health and wellbeing
  • a more sustainable environment.

CFA provides volunteer representatives on Standards Australia Technical Committees as part of the CFA Standards Project; if you are interested in finding out more about the Project and/or becoming a volunteer CFA Standards Representative please contact the Standards Coordinator at

Photo Credit: St Stev via (cc)