By Angela Beggs


CSIRO is no longer conducting research about nanoparticles and sunscreen. Information presented here was current at time of publication and may be superseded by later advancements in scientific and technical research.


They are so tiny that they’re invisible to the naked eye. In fact, one of these pint sized particles is about an 8,000th the size of a single human hair. But nanomaterials have a big role to play in manufacturing, the environment and our everyday lives.

You may have heard discussions about these miniature materials being used in sunscreens, but this is just one place where we might find them – they also occur naturally from volcanoes, bushfire and, wait for it, even in milk.

Click to view full size.

Click to view full size.

Our experts are working with government and community groups to help ensure Australia captures all the benefits of nanotechnologies in a safe and socially responsible way.

In this video nanosafety expert, Dr Maxine McCall, gives us the big picture on nanosafety:

Read more about our work on nanosafety.