A bathroom cleaner called Magic Nano was recalled in March only three days after going on sale in Germany because almost 80 people reported severe respiratory infections. Six were admitted to a hospital with fluid in their lungs. Most of the symptoms cleared up with in a few days and no one has died (yet), but its definitely added fuel to the fire for critics of nanotechnology who say that nanotechnology is the spawn of Satan. Of course there are several problems with this criticism. First of all, Magic Nano isn’t really what you’d call nano. I mean it doesn’t contain microscopic robots that eat away the mold and grime in your bathrooms. (Trust me. I was severely disappointed when I found all this out). Liquid in Magic Nano doesn’t contain nanoparticles. When applied as an aerosol it forms a layer of silicon dioxide that repels oil and water. The silicon dioxide layer is 100 nanometer thin and that’s where it gets it’s “nano liquidâ€? label.

Also, the respiratory problems only occurred with the aerosol version of the bathroom cleaner. The same company also produces a windscreen cleaner containing nano liquid and it hasn’t harmed any one. There have been no problems reported for people who have the pump version of the bathroom cleaner. So far the real culprit of the respiratory infection seems to have been caused by the anti-corrosion liquid inside the propellant can.

I’m just disappointed to discover that the product doesn’t contain microbots. I had this great little vision of teeny tiny bots cleaning the mold off of my bathtub for me.