Research on health effect of breathing nanoparticles

Research methods demonstrate that breathing nanoparticles may result in
damaging health effects. The US-American National Institute for Occupational
Safety and Health (NIOSH) is researching the health effects that nanoparticles
may have on workers who handle them and who are exposed to them. NIOSH recently
published research that measured for the first time the health effects of
inhaling a common nanoparticle, the single-walled carbon nanotube. In this
study, researchers examined what happens when mice breathe in carbon nanotubes.

A nanoparticle of a certain material can behave much differently than a larger,
more familiar-sized particle of the same material. Early research shows that
materials that enter the body as nano-sized particles may have harmful health
effects, even for some materials previously considered safe at larger sizes.

NIOSH scientists invented a way to suspend nanotubes in air so the
concentration of particles could be carefully controlled, different from
previous tests were particles were aspirated. It was the first time a
well-characterized controlled aerosol of a carbon nanotube had been generated.

The new results demonstrated that carbon nanotubes were more potent when
inhaled than when aspirated. In addition, this research has shown early
indications of serious health outcomes that may have longer term effects such
as cancer, and therefore, ongoing research is important to more clearly
understand the implications of exposure to carbon nanotubes.

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AplusA-online.de - Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)