The number of consumer products using nanotechnology more than doubled from 212 to 475 in the last 14 months.
The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies launched the first online inventory of manufacturer-identified nanotech goods in March 2006. The current inventory (online at www.nanotechproject.org/consumerproducts) has products from 20 countries and includes refrigerators, humidifiers, air-conditioners, air purifiers, water filtration membranes, washing machines, computer peripherals, organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays, and electric shavers.
Nanoscale silver is the most cited nanomaterial used, found in 20 percent of the inventory. Carbon, including carbon nanotubes and fullerenes, is the second highest nanoscale material cited. Polls show most Americans know little or nothing about nanotechnology, but in 2005 nanotechnology was used in $30 billion in manufactured goods. By 2014, Lux Research estimates $2.6 trillion in manufactured goods will incorporate nanotechnology.
The Project describes nanotechnology as the ability to measure, see, manipulate, and manufacture objects usually between 1 and 100 nanometers (nm). A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. A human hair is roughly 100,000 nm wide and the limit of the human eye’s capacity to see without a microscope is about 10,000 nm.
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