Some carbon “nanotubes”—a key nanotechnology product—may behave like asbestos fibers and pose a health threat, according to new research in mice (Poland CA et al. Nat Nanotechnology. 10.1038/nnano.2008.111 [published online ahead of print May 20, 2008]).
Nanotubes, minuscule cylinders only a few billionths of a meter in diameter, are under study for applications in medicine, electronics, and other areas. But some scientists have raised concerns about potential health risks of some nanotubes that have a needlelike shape similar to that of asbestos fibers.
Stephenson J. Nanotechnology Hazard? JAMA. 2008;299(23):2737. doi:10.1001/jama.299.23.2737-b
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