This blog is becoming a locus for doom and gloom lately! 🙂
Today’s warning is that the effectiveness of nanotechnology use may in future be mitigated by its propensity to damage our health. New research is beginning to identify links between the tiny creations and serious illnesses such as mesothelioma! The suggestion that we are building up a potentially lethal arsenal of weapons in the guise of essential technology is of course anathema to both scientists and industry alike, yet the cause for concern remains.
Of course we all want those futuristic products like lightweight but strong baseball bats (?) but because of their ability to control the passage of heat etc, these fibres are finding their way into products such as sun creams!
As with all these products used responsibly and in the correct way there should be little problems. Yet the question is being asked just what *is* the ‘right way’! In objects such as tennis racquets and the like we can assume the only people in real danger are those who are in some way part of the manufacturing process and so could expect to be safeguarded by legislation. But if these things are included in suntan lotion then how do we know they aren’t, for example, being absorbed thru the skin? They are after all incredibly tiny particles and can penetrate cell walls with little hindrance!
Bizarrely it seems little real research has been carried out on nanotubes to establish exactly what bio-hazards they pose. To help over come this, a small study will soon be held in Australia using volunteer lifeguards to test whether the particles in sun creams *do* in fact pose a credible threat. Until I hear the results I think I am going to be *very* careful which sun-creams I buy!! If they appear ‘clear’ on the skin for example… they can stay on the shelf!
More on the story can be read here.