‘Asbestos Warning’ on Nanotubes
Awhile back I wrote an article about nanotechnology predicating that things might get scary with this new and largely unregulated industry.
And now, disturbing evidence as to the safety of nanotechnology in every day objects like tennis rackets is starting to come in. Below is an article from the BBC News which suggests carbon-tube shaped nanomaterial, which has the same shape as asbestos molecules, might be leading to health and environmental dangers similar to what was experienced with asbestos production and use.
Read the new report below, and to see my primer on nanotechnology and what it’s all about click here. Love, Elizabeth Fiend
By Jonathan Fildes
Science and technology reporter, BBC News
Carbon nanotubes, the poster child of the burgeoning nanotechnology industry, could trigger diseases similar to those caused by asbestos, a study suggests.
Specific lengths of the tiny fibres were found to cause “asbestos-like” inflammation and lesions in mice.
Use of asbestos triggered a pandemic of lung disease in the 20th Century.
There are high hopes for the tiny carbon molecules, which have remarkable properties that could be used for advanced electronics and materials.
“As a society, we cannot afford not to exploit this incredible material but neither can we afford to get it wrong – as we did with asbestos,” said Dr Andrew Maynard of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC, US.
They are already known to be incorporated into products such as tennis rackets, bicycle handlebars and baseball bats, where they are used because of their strength and light weight.
Other undocumented products may also make use of them, the researchers said, but companies did not have a duty to report their use.
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