Nano2 - Kluesner 1 Kim Kluesner Nanoscience Mid-length...

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Kluesner 1 Kim Kluesner Nanoscience Mid-length Essay Mar. 13, 2008 Risky Business Nanoscience is a fairly new and exciting field of science. Nanoscience’s possibilities are endless, from medicine to manufacturing. However, with some new technologies there are potential health risks. My goal is to provide information on potential health and environmental risks and to supply suggestions on how we could possibly minimize the future effects of these risks. The world has been dealing with nanoparticles for hundreds of years without knowing it. However, today we purposely manipulate materials on the nanoscale changing their physical properties and causing the surface area to become larger. This in turn causes materials to become more chemically reactive (Nanowerk). Because, the human body is not used to particles being allowed in certain areas, an exposure to nanoparticles may pose as a potential health risk (Consumer). Currently it is accepted that nanoparticles can reach places larger particles could not reach in the human body before. Nanoparticles have the ability to reach the brain through passages in the nose, they can be inhaled into the lungs and even enter the bloodstream (Consumer). They also have the ability to reach mitochondria and the central nervous system. Nanoparticles can reach the lungs to a “greater extent than larger particles” and cause inflammation. Their ability to reach the bloodstream makes nanoparticles more able to reach areas like the spleen, bone marrow, kidneys, and possibly translocate from the placenta into a fetus (
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Kluesner 2 The hazards of exposure to amphibole asbestos, a substance previously used in the construction of buildings which causes various health disorders when inhaled, could help us understand potential health hazards from nanoparticles and nanotubes. Nanotubes have three characteristic properties related to what makes amphibole asbestos hazardous: their thinness, their length and their insolubility. This gives away to a theory that nanotubes could eventually raise to similar asbestos health problems. Along with inflammation, inhaled nanoparticles could also cause “changes in blood coagulability (blood-clotting), and increase risks of heart attack in people…with coronary artery disease” (Lancet). Air pollution by nanoparticles could result in the particles penetrating nerves and the brain. This is hypothesized by a correlation with studies of dogs in Mexico City. These dogs were seen to have air-pollution metals incorporated into their brains causing DNA damage and brain inflammation. The hypothesis is that nanoparticles which have the ability to reach the brain more readily, could pose a similar risk of brain damage (Lancet). There are two types of nanoparticles that may cause concern for human health:
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This note was uploaded on 03/26/2008 for the course NAN 143:070:00 taught by Professor Michaeleflatte during the Spring '08 term at University of Iowa.

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Nano2 - Kluesner 1 Kim Kluesner Nanoscience Mid-length...

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