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Narelle Brown, a pregnant mother of two children, purchases a sunscreen product for her children prior to taking them for their annual summer holiday at the beach. One of her children, a 10-year-old girl, has eczema and the other, an 8-year-old boy, is always cutting himself in his games. Both children will spend long periods in the sun on the holidays, requiring repeated applications of sunscreen.
Narelle notices that on the pack, the sunscreen is described as “microfine.” There are instructions, but no warnings about its use. Narelle takes her family on the holiday and uses the sunscreen repeatedly, including on herself. During the stay she meets a couple from next door, both of whomwork for the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). They notice her sunscreen and tell her that it contains titanium dioxide (TiO2) and zinc oxide (ZnO) in nanoparticulate form. They tell her that in 2006, of the 1,200 sunscreens authorised by the TGA, most (70%) contained these …