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Evaluation of the health effects of carbon nanotubes


Evaluation of the health effects of carbon nanotubes

Elina Rydman, Julia Catalán, Penny Nymark, Jaana Palomäki, Hannu Norppa, Harri Alenius, Joonas Koivisto, Henrik Wolff, Kaarle Hämeri, Lea Pylkkänen, Hilkka Järventaus, Satu Suhonen, Kirsi Siivola, Timo Tuomi, Merja Järvelä, Esa Vanhala, Jenni Rantala, Minnamari Vippola, Kai Savolainen

Finnish Institute of Occupational Health 2013

ISBN 978-952-261-319-6 (paperback)
ISBN 978-952-261-320-2 (PDF) 

The development, production and technological applications of  carbon  nanotube  are rapidly  growing,  due  to  the  unique characteristics  of  these  fibers.  Consequently,  an  increase  is also expected in human exposure to such materials. However, little is still known about the safety of the multiple sorts of carbon nanotubes.

Recent  studies  have  suggested  that  some  types  of  multiwalled  carbon  nanotubes  (MWCNTs)  have  similar  effects  as asbestos. This report shows that rigid, long and needle-like MWCNTs induce inflammation and DNA damage in the lungs and in cultured cells, while flexible, long and tangled MWCNTs do not. It appears that the rigidity of MWCNTs is a key feature in triggering a specific inflammatory reaction and in causing cellular alterations involved in cancer formation.

These results provide new information on the adverse effects of MWCNTs and are useful in assessing which forms of MWCNTs require regulatory attention and special safety measures in occupational settings.



Modified 21.10.2013