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Statistics in brief - Nanoproducts in the Products Register

All kinds of products could contain so-called nanomaterial, i.e. materials that contain intentionally manufactured structures in a size from one to some hundred nanometers (that is less than a millionth part of a metre), which gives the material particular properties.

Nanoparticles can be blended into solid materials like plastics, rubber or metal but can also be used in solution or paste. Thin surface coatings and electronic components can be of nano size.

Chemical products can contain nanomaterial as solid particles or as liquid droplets.

Number of chemical products with nano in their names, 1998 to 2010

Graph: Number of chemical products with nano in their name, 1998 to 2010.

Source: Products Register, Swedish Chemicals Agency, 2010.

The chart shows the increase of chemical products in the products register containing the word "nano" in the product name. In 2010, the number of such products was around 100. The first products with "nano" in their name were reported in 1998 and an additional 32 such products have been introduced but have now been withdrawn.

There is no obligation to report that a product contains nanomaterial or to point out the nanomaterial in a reported chemical product to the products register. It is, thus, not possible to say whether the products really contain any nanomaterial and, if so, what kind of nanomaterial.

Product types of chemical "nano-products"

Graph. Product types of chemical nano products.

Source: Products Register, Swedish Chemicals Agency, 2010.

More than half of the chemical products with names containing the word "nano" are used for surface coating. The majority is car care products but also other materials than metal can be protected by coatings applying nanotechnology. Such coatings can be used on buildings, for instance paints that not only protect the walls but sometimes also make them self-cleaning.

Most of these products are consumer products.