Nanotechnology safety is in the news again. VT KnowledgeWorks nanotechnology experts commented here on recent concerns with carbon nanotubes. This article from Daily Tech describes a new study published in Nature Nanotechnology on the interaction of living cells with buckyballs, "60 atom carbon molecules shaped like a soccer ball."
From Ben Lepene, CEO of Safe Nanomaterials:
This is another interesting article; I hope it raises awareness for the need to accurately assess the potential health effects associated with nanomaterial exposure without causing unfounded harm to the nano-tech industry.
One question that should be asked: "What happens when buckyballs penetrate or associate with cell membranes?"
In some cases these nanomaterials can result in cellular damage due to free radical formation and stimulation of a pro-inflammatory environment. In other cases they may be inert or cleared from the body with little harm. The level of nanomaterial toxicity all depends on the nanostructure in question – size matters, but so do a lot of other physical and chemical properties.
We also need to think about risk. Risk is commonly defined as a function of hazard and exposure. Safe Nanomaterials’s nanotoxicology assessment program assists nanotech companies evaluate and reduce risks associated with their nano-enabled products.
Safe NanoMaterials provides proactive nanotoxicology services for the assessment and reduction of potential environmental and health impacts associated with engineered nanomaterials.