Thursday, May 22, 2008

Carbon nanotubes: Health concerns

For a change, this nanoscale material is in the news for a very wrong reason: it could be as dangerous as asbestos. Kenneth Chang reports in the NYTimes:

... [S]cientists have ... long wondered whether the needle-shaped nanotubes might cause the same types of disease as needle-shaped asbestos fibers. ... An article published Tuesday on the Web site of the journal Nature Nanotechnology suggests that the answer may be yes. A team of researchers reported that injecting nanotubes into the abdomens of mice induced lesions similar to those that appear on the outer lining of the lungs after the inhalation of asbestos.

Here's Scientific American's report about the same study.