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January 29th, 2008
The science of nanotechnology—dealing with particles a thousand times thinner than a strand of human hair—may itself be new, but with scientists coming up with applications for nanoparticles in the electronics, chemical and pharmaceutical industries, the government wants to understand the polluting and toxic effects of these particles.
A growing body of research also suggests that nanoparticles could easily lodge themselves within the body and cause respiratory problems. In 2006, several German firms were forced to withdraw their cleaning products, all of which claimed to use nanoparticles. Many of these products caused respiratory problems. But a study by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment found that while these effects were caused by the products, none of them actually contained nanoparticles.
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