A toxicologist from the University of Rochester has demonstrated that some nanoscale materials can migrate from the nose into the brain.
GÃ¼nter OberdÃ¶rster, Barbara Karn – an environmental scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency and other 13 specialists made a report that cited a wide range of studies suggesting that nanoscale products may pose new health hazards.
â€œThis is just looking at the human health effects, not how to test the impact on the broader environmentâ€? said Barbara Karn.
Nanoscale materials often behave differently than the same materials in larger sizes. That gives them valuable new attributes like unusual strength or electrical characteristics, but it also raises questions about whether new products incorporating them might be unexpectedly hazardous.
Many products are using nanotechnology, sunscreens and stain-resistant clothing are already familiar with the technology. At the same time, nanotechnology is still in its early stages and the quantities of nanomaterials in production are small.
Nanotechnology comprises technological developments on the nanometer scale, usually 0.1 to 100 nm. (One nanometer equals one thousandth of a micrometer or one millionth of a millimeter.) The term has sometimes been applied to microscopic technology. More broadly, nanotechnology includes the many techniques used to create structures at a size scale below 100 nm, including those used for fabrication of nanotubes and nanowires, those used in semiconductor fabrication such as deep ultraviolet lithography, electron beam lithography, focused ion beam machining, atomic layer deposition, and molecular vapor deposition, and further including molecular self-assembly techniques such as those employing di-block copolymers. (according to Wikipedia)