Safe Work Australia commissioned National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) to conduct a health hazard assessment of CNTs, the production of which is currently on the increase due to their widespread use in industrial and biomedical applications. In an extensive review of the published literature, NICNAS has concluded that multi-walled CNTs (and, in the absence of data to the contrary, single-walled CNTs) may cause damage to the lungs/respiratory system through prolonged or repeated inhalation exposure, and that they may present a risk of cancer (either as individual fibres or in aggregate). In accordance with GHS classification, NICNAS proposes that CNTs should be classified in Carcinogen Category 2 (suspected of causing cancer). As the toxicological properties of CNTs “may vary due to impurities and their concentrations, dimensions, state (agglomerated/aggregated or dispersed) and surface functionality”, a case-by-case hazard assessment is advised when specific toxicity data are available.

Safe Work Australia. Human Health Hazard Assessment and Classification of Carbon Nanotubes. October 2012.

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The above item was taken from the November 2012 issue of Toxicology and Regulatory News which is sent automatically to members of bibra (click here for more details).

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