05/21/2008 - Nanotubes, one of the wonder materials of the new age of nanotechnology, may carry a health risk similar to that of asbestos, a wonder material of an earlier age that turned into a scourge after decades of use when its fibers were found to cause lung disease, researchers said Tuesday.
This time, the warning comes long before anyone has fallen ill, and experts say the findings call for caution, not alarm, in handling nanotubes, which are tiny, superstrong carbon fibers.
“I think there is clear evidence for caution in how they are used and handled,” said Andrew D. Maynard, chief science adviser to the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington and another author of the Nature Nanotechnology paper.
View In Study, Researchers Find Nanotubes May Pose Health Risks Similar to Asbestos on the The New York Times' site.
Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information, visit the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies on PewHealth.org.