Wednesday, November 12, 2008


While carbon nanotubes are being used more and more in the chemistry and electronics industries, a study published by the Nature Nanotechnology Journal has found that these nanotubes may cause the human body the same harm as asbestos.
These artificially created molecules are currently in use in many products, including tennis rackets, baseball bats, and bicycle handlebars. Because companies are not required to disclose the information, consumers are unable to know the exact use and amounts of the nanotubes.
Researchers noted that nanotube fibers are very similar to asbestos fibers, and studied their effects on bodies of mice. Asbestos, varying lengths of carbon nanotubes, and normal flat carbon sheets were injected into the abdomens of mice. These researchers found that long carbon nanotubes cause inflammation and scarring in the lining of the lungs and stomach—an effect of exposure to asbestos.
Asbestos lawyers, health advocates and researchers have come to support a more cautious approach when dealing with nanotechnologies.
Those in manufacturing plants may not be the only ones at risk; people who demolish the products, throw the products into landfill sites, or incinerate the products may be subject to carbon nanotube exposure.

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