"Nanoparticles the next major health hazard"

The potential health threats of Nanoparticles :

“When materials are brought down to the nanoscale dimension, their properties for some performance characteristics dramatically change,” said Cagin. ” We have demonstrated that when you go to a particular length scale between 20 and 23 nanometers you actually improve the energy-harvesting capacity by 100 percent.

The gold and silver nanoparticles are beginning to come under close scrutity.

Nanoparticles could threaten human organs such as the liver, heart, kidneys and lungs and brain. Nanoparticles are found in the air, products, soil and through medicine and medical procedures. the problem is that they are so tiny a single particle is one billionth of a meter (3.9 feet) and they accumulate where they lodge. Lodging in the ear after cell phone use; on the body after wearing clothes made withem or wearing them as a medical device or applying them on the skin in the form of retinol A or sunscreen. There have been no long term studies to understand the effects on biological systems including the human body. Now biologicval systems mean no studies on what happen as they enter cells whether it is plant or animal -what does it do to the DNA and other cell organelles and is the effects carried into the chromosomes for the next generation to deal with.

Gold nanoparticles are everywhere. They are used in cancer treatments, automobile sensors, cell phones, blood sugar monitors and hydrogen gas production. However, until recently, scientists couldn’t create the nanoparticles without producing synthetic chemicals that had negative impacts on the environment.gallery-nanoparticle-toxicity-large

“The smaller a particle, the further it can travel through tissue, along airways or in blood vessels,” Dr. Adnan Nasir, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, told The New York Times. “Especially if the nanoparticles are indestructible and accumulate and are not metabolized, if you accumulate them in the organs, the organs could fail,” he said.

Minuscule nanoparticles added to consumer products increasingly may be swarming through the body and threatening organs like the liver, U.S. scientists fear. “The smaller a particle, the further it can travel through tissue, along airways or in blood vessels,” Dr. Adnan Nasir, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, told The New York Times. “Especially if the nanoparticles are indestructible and accumulate and are not metabolized, if you accumulate them in the organs, the organs could fail,” he said.

Even when made of inert elements, nanomaterials take on unique properties, research suggests. Animal studies indicate nanoparticles can penetrate cells and tissues, move through the body and brain and cause biochemical damage. They have also been linked to testicular cancer and cardiovascular system damage and may pose an environmental hazard, studies suggest. Even a separate study by the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology found stoves and toaster ovens emit ultrafine particles of 2 to 30 nanometers.

Their use in lotions and creams particularly in mineral sunscreens has drawn the most critical attention. Consumer products with nanoparticles or based on nanotechnology like clothing, surface treatment, cosmetics and transports. Through these products the most direct contact to consumers occur. The potential health problems related to the use of the products need to be studied immediately and assessed.

The U.S. Environmental Agency is seeking public review and comment on a petition asking the agency to classify nanoscale silver as a pesticide.
The petition, filed by the International Center for Technology Assessment and others, also calls on the EPA to require formal pesticide registration of all products containing nanoscale silver, analyze the potential human health and environmental risks of the tiny germ-killing particles, and take regulatory action against existing products that contain the material.

“Nanosilver is an unknown threat not only to the environment but also to human health,” center staff attorney George Kimbrell said. “The public has no idea that consumer products contain potentially dangerous nanoparticles because no labeling is currently required.”

The petition, filed by the International Center for Technology Assessment and others, also calls on the EPA to require formal pesticide registration of all products containing nanoscale silver, analyze the potential human health and environmental risks of the tiny germ-killing particles, and take regulatory action against existing products that contain the material.

The center said manufacturers are infusing products with nanoscale silver for its enhanced anti-microbial abilities. There are more than 260 nanosilver products currently on the market, including household appliances and cleaners, clothing, cutlery, children’s toys and personal care products.

“Nanosilver is an unknown threat not only to the environment but also to human health,” center staff attorney George Kimbrell said. “The public has no idea that consumer products contain potentially dangerous nanoparticles because no labeling is currently required.”

“Nanosilver is an unknown threat not only to the environment but also to human health,” center staff attorney George Kimbrell said. “The public has no idea that consumer products contain potentially dangerous nanoparticles because no labeling is currently required.”

Environmental danger

Kimbrell said silver is toxic to fish, aquatic organisms and microorganisms. A 2008 study showed that washing nanosilver socks released substantial amounts of the nanosilver into laundry discharge water, which will ultimately reach natural waterways, the center said.
“Nanosilver is an unknown threat not only to the environment but also to human health,” center staff attorney George Kimbrell said. “The public has no idea that consumer products contain potentially dangerous nanoparticles because no labeling is currently required.”

Kimbrell said silver is toxic to fish, aquatic organisms and microorganisms. A 2008 study showed that washing nanosilver socks released substantial amounts of the nanosilver into laundry discharge water, which will ultimately reach natural waterways, the center said.

The U.S. Environmental Agency is seeking public review and comment on a petition asking the agency to classify nanoscale silver as a pesticide.
The petition, filed by the International Center for Technology Assessment and others, also calls on the EPA to require formal pesticide registration of all products containing nanoscale silver, analyze the potential human health and environmental risks of the tiny germ-killing particles, and take regulatory action against existing products that contain the material.

The center said manufacturers are infusing products with nanoscale silver for its enhanced anti-microbial abilities. There are more than 260 nanosilver products currently on the market, including household appliances and cleaners, clothing, cutlery, children’s toys and personal care products.

“Nanosilver is an unknown threat not only to the environment but also to human health,” center staff attorney George Kimbrell said. “The public has no idea that consumer products contain potentially dangerous nanoparticles because no labeling is currently required.” Nanoparticles are used in sun screens to block ultraviolet radiation, in emulsions to contain vitamins in face creams, and in other moisturisers to kill off bacteria. But of 67 firms approached only eight submitted information on the use of nanotechnology in their products. until all the necessary safety tests are carried out, the simple fact is we just don’t know enough.

Individuals must take care of their own health and family safety. The government has not yet required manufacturers of nanomaterials products to have an independent assessment and long term research to determine the safety of all products.

Industry response

In May researchers at the Institute of Occupational Medicine, Edinburgh, asked the government to restrict use of carbon nanotubes – in car panels, tennis rackets and bike frames – claiming they posed a cancer risk similar to that of asbestos.

Kimbrell said silver is toxic to fish, aquatic organisms and microorganisms. A 2008 study showed that washing nanosilver socks released substantial amounts of the nanosilver into laundry discharge water, which will ultimately reach natural waterways, the center said.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy  of http://www.safenano.org/NanoecotoxicologyLymnea.aspx

Excerpts courtesy  of http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/Self-powered_devices_may_soon_be_possible_999.html
Excerpts courtesy  ofhttp://www.dhigroup.com/News/NewsArchive/2006/MappingOfNanoproducts.aspx

Excerpts courtesy  of http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/newscience/silver-is-potent-neurotoxicant

Image courtesy of courtesy  http://sci.csc.mrc.ac.uk/images/gallery-nanoparticle-toxicity-large.jpg

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