"Nano Textiles" can be produced by a variety of methods. The key difference among them is whether synthetic nanoparticles are integrated into the fibres or the textile, or are applied as a coating on the surface, and/or whether nanoparticles are added to the nanoscale fibres or coating. However, information about manufacturing methods, the nanomaterials themselves and the quantities used, as well as the "life cycle" of the "nano-treated" textile for sale is largely unavailable to the consumer. The present dossier therefore clarifies nano-textile manufacturing processes and application areas, and gives an overview about the potential effects on the environment and health. Many questions remain unanswered, however, there is a need for considerably more research not only for product development but also into the usefulness and risks which nano-textiles give rise to. The open questions have prompted the Swiss Textile Federation to undertake a joint project with the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA) entitled "Nanosafe Textiles" and to initiate discussions on the topic.
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