QUOTE (wtanaka+May 22 2008, 11:48 AM)
BOSTON (AP) — Strong, versatile little "nanotubes" made out of carbon are considered future stars in nanotechnology research in medicine and industry. Now a study finds that longer threads of the stuff mimic the toxic qualities of asbestos, renewing questions about how carbon nanotubes can be used safely.
Researchers with British institutes and the U.S.-based Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies injected mice with asbestos and with commercial samples of carbon nanotubes of varying sizes. When they examined the lining of the rodents' abdominal cavities, the researchers observed that longer nanotubes behaved like asbestos, provoking inflammation and lesions.
The study was reported Tuesday in Nature Nanotechnology, a scientific journal.
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Ok, I'm not an animal rights activist, but was it really necessary for the one rat to be poisoned with asbestos when the result was already known?
I can understand experimenting with a new substance to test if it has harmful properties, but it really is sadistic to use a known deadly substance as a "control" just for the hell of it.
27th May 2008 - 07:52 PM
Plus the results were never in doubt QC.
20th June 2008 - 02:10 AM
Well, for the sole reason that we now know that it's hazardous, it won't be the new asbestos. Asbestos is only the problem it is now, because we didn't realise it was carcinogenic. If we knew, we would have taken precautions.
Also*, we're making the problem seem far worse then it is. Most types of asbestos are not carcinogenic. Only the earliest type was, but it was later abandoned because it was to expensive, and prone to shatering. All later aplications used non-hazardous types. Unfortunately, it takes rather a lot of effort to identify which type is present, so people tend to prefer safe over sorry.
That and people tend to panic when they hear "asbestos".
and IIRC, the real danger lies inhaling the tubes, as they wreak havoc in your lounges.
*Hah, those two years of Civil Enginering at uni are paying off...
20th June 2008 - 07:56 PM
Alcari, all asbestos is hazardous when handling an excavation project. The fibers of fiberglass, for example, are just as bad. There really is no "safe" asbestos as you claim. Only when left alone is asbestos a nonhazard.
20th June 2008 - 11:49 PM
Much of the material used in construction as "Asbestos", aren't actually made from asbestos fibers, but from other flame retardant materials that look rather similar without a microscope.
Also, for easy processing, many real asbestos sheets where coated or 'glued', so they wouldn't shatter or chip. This process prevents the fibers from becoming airborne as well.
Now, I'm not saying asbestos is safe. By all means should you avoid smashing up asbestos plates and inhale the dust cloud. But it's not magically dangerous, it's not "Oh my god, asbestos! Run for your lives!"
besides, the whole discussion is off-topic anyway
22nd June 2008 - 07:39 PM
No, the discussion is warranted Alcari. Asbestos is banned and really isn't a factor in home building anymore, but the discussion of carbon nanotubes acting similar to asbestos is an alive topic, so to speak. These tubes shouldn't pose a problem after what I already mentioned.
23rd June 2008 - 03:59 PM
True, but the problems with asbestos don't occur when it's sitting neatly in the building. Most problems occur when there's a collapse or the building has to be taken down. Special care has to be taken to make sure the panels aren't damaged.
Nanotubes would have the same problem. No danger when they're just sitting there, but they need to be handled with care when the building has to come down, or is damaged.
24th June 2008 - 06:02 PM