Are carbon nanotubes the next asbestos? A new report in Occupational Medicine and Health Affairs suggests that the dangers of working with these tiny particles can include lung cancer and deadly malignant pleural mesothelioma – the same diseases caused by exposure to asbestos. Carbon nanotubes are tubular cylinders of carbon atoms. These tiny manmade particles have been found to have some extraordinary properties – including strength, elasticity and conductivity – that are useful in making products ranging from baseball bats to electronics and optical lenses. Like asbestos, carbon nanotubes are also resistant to corrosion. As a result, they’re being used with increasing frequency, which means that more workers in these fields are likely to be exposed to them. In a … Continue reading Occupational Risks of Carbon Nanotubes Include Mesothelioma
A new study contains more disturbing news for people who work in certain areas of materials science. Like asbestos fibers, multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) are small enough to be inhaled or accidentally ingested as dust. Unlike asbestos, which occurs naturally and is mined for commercial use, MWCNTs are synthetic. These carbon-based molecules are shaped into concentric tubes which resist chemical corrosion and are valuable for use in electronics, optics, textiles, and other areas of manufacturing. The goal of the new German study was to identify possible carcinogenic effects of MWCNTs and to determine how the cancer triggered by these molecules compares to mesothelioma triggered by asbestos. The team injected different shapes and sizes of MWCNTs into the abdomens of 500 lab … Continue reading Carbon Nanotubes: Shape May Impact Mesothelioma Risk
There is some unsettling news out of China for people who work with or around multi-walled carbon nanotubes. Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) are carbon-based synthetic molecules in the shape of concentric tubes. Their special shape makes them more resistant to chemicals than other types of carbon nanotubes and makes them valuable for use in electronics, optics, textiles and other areas of manufacturing. But Chinese researchers say these tiny particles, like the sharp particles of naturally-occurring asbestos, have the potential to cause mesothelioma in people who inhale them. Lead researchers Jiegou Xu of the Anhui Medical University College of Basic Medical Sciences in Hefei, China and his colleagues exposed laboratory rats to two different kinds of MWCNTs with disturbing results. Suspensions … Continue reading Carbon Nanotubes: A New Cause of Mesothelioma?
There’s more evidence that carbon nanotubes, cylindrical carbon molecules used in nanotechnology, electronics, optics and other fields, may cause mesothelioma in the same way that asbestos does. Because of their special mechanical and electrical properties and their ability to conduct heat, nanotubes are being added to an increasing number of structural materials, including the carbon fiber used to make baseball bats, golf clubs and car parts. As a result, more people who work in manufacturing and scientific fields are likely to be exposed to nanotubes. But a new published study suggests that, if these tiny fibers accidentally enter the lungs through inhalation, they can act very much like crocidolite asbestos fibers and eventually trigger mesothelioma. Crocidolite is a common type of asbestos … Continue reading Carbon Nanotubes: The Next Mesothelioma Risk?