NAD Finds Certain NanoSeptic Self-Cleaning Surface Claims are Supported; Recommends Modification of Others

For Immediate Release 

Contact: Abby Hills, Director of Communications, BBB National Programs 

301.412.7769 / press@bbbnp.org 

 

New York, NY – July 29, 2020 – Following an inquiry by the National Advertising Division (NAD) initiated as part of its routine monitoring program, NAD determined that NanoTouch Materials, LLC substantiated certain express claims for its NanoSeptic surfaces that the product: 

  • Is self-cleaning; 
  • Creates cleaner surfaces; and 
  • Uses technology, not toxic chemicals. 

 

However, NAD recommended that it discontinue or modify the claim “turn[s] dirty, high-traffic public touchpoints into clean surfaces,” and modify other claims to avoid conveying the implied message that its surfaces are continuously “clean,” i.e. free of microbial contaminants, due to the self-cleaning mechanism of the surface, rather than “cleaner.”    

The following claims, which appeared on the advertiser’s website and products, served as the basis for NAD’s inquiry: 

Express Claims: 

  • “NanoSeptic Self Cleaning [Mat, Tissue Box, Buttons, Surface, Mouse Pad, etc.].” 

  • “Clean based on technology, not toxins. NanoSeptic skins and mats turn dirty, high traffic public touch points into continuously self-cleaning surfaces.” 

  • “The New Clean means continuously self-cleaning surfaces. It means safe, non-toxic materials. It means turning dirty, high traffic public touchpoints into clean surfaces you can see.” 

  • “Powered by light, NanoSeptic surfaces utilize mineral nano-crystals which create an oxidation reaction stronger than bleach. Working 24/7, the surface continually oxidizes organic contaminants. Unlike traditional disinfectants and cleaners, the NanoSeptic surface uses no poisons, heavy metals or chemicals, and nothing is released from the surface since the nanocrystals are molecularly bonded to the material.” 

 

Implied Claims: 

  • Individuals and items that come into contact with NanoSeptic surfaces do not need to worry/account for that their hands/items may have come into contact with bacteria or viruses commonly associated with public surfaces and touchpoints. 

  • NanoSeptic surfaces provide the same cleanliness as surfaces cleaned with bleach and other disinfectants. 

  • NanoSeptic surfaces do not require cleaning with chemical or other anti-septic cleaners. 

 

The NanoSeptic surface is a new technology created, manufactured, and marketed by the advertiser that is designed to improve the cleanliness of high-touch surfaces. The advertiser’s NanoSeptic surfaces are sold in a variety of applications, including as covering for elevator buttons and public door handles, and as mats for placing items in hotel bathrooms, and as liners for security bins and public counters. 

As support for its claims, the advertiser submitted six independent lab reports, describing testing of NanoSeptic surfaces for antimicrobial properties. It also pointed to its website FAQs and “Regulatory Notice and Public Disclaimer,” which, it argued, limit the messages conveyed in its advertising. The provided studies followed established, internationally accepted test protocols and produced results that showed bacteria and viruses do not grow, and in fact are reduced (i.e., cleaned), on NanoSeptic surfaces without the addition of other antimicrobial cleaning agents. NAD determined that these reports provide a reasonable basis for the advertiser’s website claims about the cleaning action of NanoSeptic surfaces, such as claims that they are “continuously self-cleaning,” “clean based on technology, not toxins,” “powered by light,” “working 24/7, the surface continually oxidizes organic contaminants,” and “unlike traditional disinfectants and cleaners, the NanoSeptic surface uses no poisons, heavy metals or chemicals, and nothing is released from the surface since the nano-crystals are molecularly bonded to the material.”   

However, regarding the claim, “turn dirty, high traffic public touchpoints into clean surfaces,” NAD recommended that it be discontinued or modified because the tests do not provide a reasonable basis for claims that the surfaces are “clean” (i.e., free of microbial contamination) when regularly used by consumers, versus “cleaner.”  

NAD further recommended that the advertiser modify claims on the products themselves (i.e. surfaces branded as “NanoSeptic Continously Self-Cleaning”) or other claims which are directed to consumers to avoid conveying the implied message that its surfaces are continuously “clean,” i.e., free of microbial contaminants due to the self-cleaning mechanism of the surface. NAD noted that, when describing the functionality of NanoSeptic surfaces to consumers, the advertiser should take care to ensure that they understand that a “continuously self-cleaning” surface is supplemental to other infection controls and that they should still take normal precautions when interacting with the surface. 

Finally, the advertiser stated that for reasons unrelated to this challenge and the efficacy of NanoSeptic products, it permanently discontinued the claim, “an oxidation reaction stronger than bleach.” Therefore, NAD did not review the claim on its merits.  

In its advertiser’s statement, NanoTouch Materials agreed to comply with NAD’s recommendations. Further, NanoTouch stated, “We very much appreciated the review and feedback from NAD on our advertising. We were pleased that NAD found many of our claims to be substantiated. NAD’s recommendations fit what we are trying to communicate about our continuously self-cleaning NanoSeptic surfaces. And it is important for customers to understand that, while NanoSeptic surfaces may be identifiably cleaner than other touch points, they still must be cleaned themselves of larger materials like dirt and are a complement but not a replacement to the infection control practices that are so important in the world today.” 

 

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About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumer trust and consumers are heard. The non-profit organization creates a fairer playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party accountability and dispute resolution programs. Embracing its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs today oversees more than a dozen leading national industry self-regulation programs, and continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-directed marketing, and privacy. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org

About the National Advertising Division: The National Advertising Division (NAD), a division of BBB National Programs, provides independent self-regulation and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S. NAD reviews national advertising in all media and its decisions set consistent standards for advertising truth and accuracy, delivering meaningful protection to consumers and leveling the playing field for business.   

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