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: Everything Is Toxic...
5/7/2006 5:49:29 AM
Almost any small particulate that you inhale is toxic. Many are very toxic. Its not a big deal though since people who work with these materials already wear venilators.
Actually, if you're working with any material that produces dust, its just common sense to wear proper protection. I use a basic mask just to work with insulation in my house. Better safe then sorry.
"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs
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
F-16 Schools Trillion-Dollar F-35 in Mock Combat, Fleeing is Best Option Pilot Admits
July 1, 2015, 5:53 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
SanDisk's 200GB microSDXC Card Turns Smartphones Into Enviable PMPs
June 26, 2015, 2:02 PM
Windows XP, Vista Users Can Get Free Windows 10 Upgrade Thanks to Loophole
June 23, 2015, 2:23 PM
Apple Music: The Money, The Launch Hiccups, and the Nitty Gritty Details
June 30, 2015, 5:09 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 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information