Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > University Analysis Suggests Limiting Exposure to Carbon Nanotubes

Risk Analysis - Volume 30, Issue 11, pages 1708–1722, November 2010
Risk Analysis - Volume 30, Issue 11, pages 1708–1722, November 2010

Abstract:
UC Berkeley Researcher Finds Potential Adverse Health Effects Merit Caution

University Analysis Suggests Limiting Exposure to Carbon Nanotubes

Washington, DC | Posted on November 17th, 2010

While offering great promise in a host of new applications, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) could be harmful to humans and a new risk review suggests product designers and others should provisionally treat CNTs "as if" they are hazardous.

Carbon nanotubes are extremely small, with a diameter measured in nanometers. A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter, or about one eighty-thousandth the thickness of a human hair. CNTs are very versatile and come in several forms, conferring great strength while also being very light.

Because environmental and health information on CNTs is incomplete and sometimes conflicting, an "anticipatory governance" approach to the technology is needed, according to Mark Philbrick, post-doctoral researcher at the Center of Integrated Nanomechanical Systems at the University of California, Berkeley. Anticipatory governance is an approach designed to support decision makers where there is uncertainty about safety, a common situation when managing emerging technologies.

The research was funded by the National Science Foundation and the conclusions are detailed in Philbrick's article "An Anticipatory Governance Approach to Carbon Nanotubes," in the November issue of the journal Risk Analysis published by the Society for Risk Analysis. The entire November issue is devoted to risk analysis articles related to nanotechnology.

An anticipatory approach is particularly important until the toxicity and behavior of CNTs in the environment are better understood, especially as they can remain airborne for extended periods, and share some characteristics with asbestos. While a few rodent studies have found similarities between the health effects of inhaling both substances, there is not enough data to draw firm conclusions.

The article notes the promise held out by CNTs is immense: some types conduct electricity and heat better than copper, others are stronger than steel while weighing less than aluminum, and yet others could be used in targeted drug delivery. These properties could find uses in aircraft frames, sensors, and electrical transmission. Nevertheless, treating them "as if" they are hazardous is a prudent course of action given uncertainty about their potential health consequences, the author said.

Given the "conflicted character of the data," how "relevant actors" should respond is the central question Philbrick asks in developing strategies for utilizing CNTs. He asserts that treating carbon nanotubes "as if" they are hazardous implies limiting exposure throughout product life-cycles. This means implementing strong engineering controls for CNT research and manufacturing, avoiding applications where the CNTs would be routinely released to the environment, and planning for recycling at the end of a product's useful life. The article also argues, "The anticipatory governance approach is particularly important as innovation rates in nanotechnologies exceed our capacity to assess human and environmental consequences of these innovations, especially when deployed at commercial scales … it helps identify uncertainties in our knowledge and focuses future research to address those gaps."

Risk Analysis: An International Journal is published by the nonprofit Society for Risk Analysis (SRA). SRA is a multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, scholarly, international society that provides an open forum for all those who are interested in risk analysis. Risk analysis is broadly defined to include risk assessment, risk characterization, risk communication, risk management, and policy relating to risk, in the context of risks of concern to individuals, to public and private sector organizations, and to society at a local, regional, national, or global level.

Note to editors: The complete study is available upon request from Lisa Pellegrin/Steve Gibb or here: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1539-6924.2010.01445.x/full

The Special November issue of Risk Analysis: An International Journal also contains the following other articles on nanotechnology:

* Perspective
* Exposure Assessment Approaches for Engineered Nanomaterials - Linda C. Abbott, and Andrew D. Maynard
* Nanotechnology Risk Communication Past and Prologue - Ann Bostrom and Ragnar E. Lofstedt
* Perspective
* The Uncertainty of Nanotoxicology: Report of a Society for Risk Analysis Workshop - Richard A. Canady
* Perspective
* Nanotechnology, Risk, and Oversight: Learning Lessons from Related Emerging Technologies - Jennifer Kuzma and Susanna Priest
* Responsible Innovation: A Pilot Study with the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council - Richard Owen
* Comparative Study of Predictive Computational Models for Nanoparticle-Induced Cytotoxicity - Christie Sayes and Ivan Ivanov
* Perspective
* Nano Risk Analysis: Advancing the Science for Nanomaterials Risk Management - Jo Anne Shatkin, Linda Carolyn Abbott et. al.
* Perspective
* Risk Characterization for Nanotechnology - Richard A. Williams, Kristen M. Kulinowski, et. al

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Steve Gibb

703.610.2441
Society for Risk Analysis

Lisa Pellegrin
571.327.4868

Copyright © Society for Risk Analysis

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Application of air-sensitive semiconductors in nanoelectronics: 2-D semiconductor gallium selenide in encapsulated nanoelectronic devices September 22nd, 2017

Researchers set time limit for ultrafast perovskite solar cells September 22nd, 2017

DNA triggers shape-shifting in hydrogels, opening a new way to make 'soft robots' September 21st, 2017

Physicists develop new recipes for design of fast single-photon gun Physicists develop high-speed single-photon sources for quantum computers of the future September 21st, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

DNA triggers shape-shifting in hydrogels, opening a new way to make 'soft robots' September 21st, 2017

Copper catalyst yields high efficiency CO2-to-fuels conversion: Berkeley Lab scientists discover critical role of nanoparticle transformation September 20th, 2017

Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene: Berkeley Lab advance is first demonstration of efficient, light-powered production of fuel via artificial photosynthesis September 19th, 2017

New insights into nanocrystal growth in liquid: Understanding process that creates complex crystals important for energy applications September 14th, 2017

Possible Futures

Application of air-sensitive semiconductors in nanoelectronics: 2-D semiconductor gallium selenide in encapsulated nanoelectronic devices September 22nd, 2017

Researchers set time limit for ultrafast perovskite solar cells September 22nd, 2017

DNA triggers shape-shifting in hydrogels, opening a new way to make 'soft robots' September 21st, 2017

Physicists develop new recipes for design of fast single-photon gun Physicists develop high-speed single-photon sources for quantum computers of the future September 21st, 2017

Academic/Education

Two Scientists Receive Grants to Develop New Materials: Chad Mirkin and Monica Olvera de la Cruz recognized by Sherman Fairchild Foundation August 16th, 2017

Moving at the Speed of Light: University of Arizona selected for high-impact, industrial demonstration of new integrated photonic cryogenic datalink for focal plane arrays: Program is major milestone for AIM Photonics August 10th, 2017

Graduate Students from Across the Country Attend Hands-on NanoCamp: Prominent scientists Warren Oliver, Ph.D., and George Pharr, Ph.D., presented a weeklong NanoCamp for hand-picked graduate students across the United States July 26th, 2017

The Physics Department of Imperial College, London, uses the Quorum Q150T to deposit metals and ITO to make plasmonic sensors and electric contact pads July 13th, 2017

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes/Nanorods

How to draw electricity from the bloodstream: A one-dimensional fluidic nanogenerator with a high power-conversion efficiency September 11th, 2017

Silk could improve sensitivity, flexibility of wearable body sensors August 20th, 2017

Regulation of two-dimensional nanomaterials: New driving force for lithium-ion batteries July 26th, 2017

Killing cancer in the heat of the moment: A new method efficiently transfers genes into cells, then activates them with light. This could lead to gene therapies for cancers July 9th, 2017

Sensors

Leti Develops Proof of Concept to Test Wireless Systems in Aircraft: Will Present Results of Joint Project at AeroTech Conference And Exhibition in Fort Worth, Texas, Sept. 26-28 September 20th, 2017

Research shows how DNA molecules cross nanopores: Study could inform biosensors, manufacturing, and more September 5th, 2017

Leti and Partners in PiezoMAT Project Develop New Fingerprint Technology for Highly Reliable Security and ID Applications: Ultra-high Resolution Pressure Sensing Uses Matrices of Vertical Piezoelectric Nanowire To Reconstruct the Smallest Features of Human Fingerprints September 5th, 2017

New results reveal high tunability of 2-D material: Berkeley Lab-led team also provides most precise band gap measurement yet for hotly studied monolayer moly sulfide August 26th, 2017

Announcements

Application of air-sensitive semiconductors in nanoelectronics: 2-D semiconductor gallium selenide in encapsulated nanoelectronic devices September 22nd, 2017

Researchers set time limit for ultrafast perovskite solar cells September 22nd, 2017

DNA triggers shape-shifting in hydrogels, opening a new way to make 'soft robots' September 21st, 2017

Physicists develop new recipes for design of fast single-photon gun Physicists develop high-speed single-photon sources for quantum computers of the future September 21st, 2017

Environment

Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene: Berkeley Lab advance is first demonstration of efficient, light-powered production of fuel via artificial photosynthesis September 19th, 2017

High-tech electronics made from autumn leaves: New process converts biomass waste into useful electronic devices August 30th, 2017

Nanoparticles pollution rises 30 percent when flex-fuel cars switch from bio to fossil: Study carried out in São Paulo, home to the world's largest flex fuel urban fleet, shows increase of ultrafine particulate matter when ethanol prices rose and consumption fell August 28th, 2017

A more complete picture of the nano world August 24th, 2017

Aerospace/Space

Leti Develops Proof of Concept to Test Wireless Systems in Aircraft: Will Present Results of Joint Project at AeroTech Conference And Exhibition in Fort Worth, Texas, Sept. 26-28 September 20th, 2017

A revolution in lithium-ion batteries is becoming more realistic September 5th, 2017

The July 23 close fly-by of asteroid 2017 BS5 is explored in a Q&A with Dr. John S. Lewis, chief scientist at Deep Space Industries July 23rd, 2017

National Space Society Governor Scott Pace Named to National Space Council as Executive Secretary July 18th, 2017

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

Do titanium dioxide particles from orthopedic implants disrupt bone repair? September 16th, 2017

Tests show no nanotubes released during utilisation of nanoaugmented materials June 9th, 2017

NanoMONITOR shares its latest developments concerning the NanoMONITOR Software and the Monitoring stations April 21st, 2017

NIST updates 'sweet' 1950s separation method to clean nanoparticles from organisms January 27th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project