Recent results from a Japanese research team, though not conclusive, could set some alarm bells ringing in the nanotechnology world, suggesting as they do that multi-wall carbon nanotubes may, like asbestos, induce particularly nasty tumours known as mesotheliomas. In a study using a well-accepted model for asbestos-type carcinogenicity (in which genetically susceptible mice are treated by intraperitoneal administration), carbon nanotubes with a length of up to around 20 µm (but a diameter in nanometers) induced mesotheliomas in all but two of 16 mice within a few months of treatment. No mesotheliomas were observed in groups treated with C60 fullerene (a more spherical form of carbon) or methyl cellulose (the vehicle). In discussing the implications of their findings for human health, the investigators noted that the biodurability of the carbon nanotubes would influence whether mesothelioma induction might also occur in humans (Takagi A. et al., Journal of Toxicological Sciences 2008, 33, 105). {174974}

The above item is taken from the April 2008 issue of Toxicology and Regulatory News which is sent automatically to members of bibra (click here for more details).

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