Nanotech the New Asbestos: Carbon Nanotube Toxicity
Alan BC Dang
May 5, 2006 2:31 PM
comment(s) - last by
Carbon nanotubes have practical applications for anything and everything, but is there a dark side of CN that we are ignoring?
Nanotechnology was supposed to revolutionize the world. Experts in material science, bioengeering, and chemical engineering were now beginning to manufacture products 0.0001 times the width of a human hair. The unique properties of materials this small promised a future of advanced miniaturization of electronic components, novel pharamaceuticals and drug delivery systems, improved gas mileage, longer lasting tennis balls, better sunscreens and even flat panel televisions that anyone can afford.
While that future may still come, there is rising concern about the potential risks of nanoparticle toxicity. Carbon nanotubes are at the forefront of the discussion. In 2004, NASA researchers at the Johnson Space Center showed that when carbon nanotubes reached the lungs, they were more toxic than carbon black and even quartz on an equal-weight basis. In 2005, researchers at UT El Paso, showed that the cell toxicity effect of carbon-nanotubes was essential identical to that of chrysotile asbestos. Last March at a Society of Toxicology meeting, researchers from Tottori University showed the first series of images that showed carbon nanotubes entering the blood within a minute of contact with the lung. Once in the blood, the negatively charged carbon nanotubes attached to red blood cells, potentially leading to future complications.
On the other hand, the carbon nanotubes which are so dangerous in the lung may actually provide a ideal structure for bone growth and repair following injury. Carbon nanotubes also have a role in the development of high tensile-strength fibers, more efficient diodes, ultra-efficient solar panels. Likewise, nanoparticles made of cerium and yttrium oxides actually have antioxidant properties and
The real question is whether the concern should be primarily for workers in the industry who are continuously exposed to the nanoparticles, or if the proliferation of nanoparticles in the environment will make it a concern for everyone. No one knows the answer. The good news is that the industry is taking a close look at the problems and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (a division of the CDC) and the European Commission are both in the process of developing additional safety guidelines.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: mmm..... why worry
5/5/2006 4:22:35 PM
Cause the reason asbestos became a problem was because alot of people asked "why worry". We should learn from the past.
Nanotech is already being used in many areas and is being researched extensively by many companies in many different fields. I'm sure they are certainly worried about health effects of working with certain nanotech products.
"Vista runs on Atom ... It's just no one uses it". -- Intel CEO Paul Otellini
Google's Gleaming Glass HQ Gets Mountain View Snub, LinkedIn Gets the Love
May 7, 2015, 6:58 AM
Tech's Tax Day Fortunate Few: Qualcomm, Xerox, GE, et al. Pay Little or No Taxes
April 15, 2015, 11:30 AM
LinkNYC Terminals to Blanket New York City With Free WiFi, Free Calls, and Ads
November 17, 2014, 6:50 PM
Microsoft is Open-Sourcing Most of .NET, Adding OS X and Linux Support
November 12, 2014, 8:27 PM
Home Depot Lost 53 Million Emails, Blames Windows, Buys Execs New Macs
November 9, 2014, 5:00 PM
Former NSA Lawyer: If Google, Apple Encrypt User Data, They’ll Wither on the Vine Like Blackberry
November 6, 2014, 12:15 PM
Most Popular Articles
Free Windows 10 offer ends July 29th, 2016: 10 Reasons to Upgrade Immediately
July 22, 2016, 9:19 PM
Smart Security Cameras: 5 Good Choices For Any Budget
July 25, 2016, 7:13 PM
2017 Porsche Panamera: I’ll Take Three of These.
July 24, 2016, 6:44 PM
Top 5 Smart Watches
July 21, 2016, 11:48 PM
5 Excellent Cable Modems: Buy Your Own and Avoid Rental Fees
July 28, 2016, 8:44 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information