Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Nano Buddy's, Who Wins the Swim to Safety?

Ok folks I am not even going to pretend I understand nanotechnology but it has been on my mind for a while and Rory from Hazards just sent some info so I got to go there.

When Nano's were first brought to my attention I thought how cool, how sifi and I just happen to be a sifi buff. Having said that I have seen all the far out possibilities that arise from it all. Like nano's deciding your body wasn't quit right and doing the rework on it's own accord, using it for mind control, nano's taking off and controlling our phones, security and so on. The worst of course nano's being used as the ultimate fighting machine causing nasty deadly disease and dying a painful death.

I remember I raised concern to my husband Mark and he said I was crazy, nano's were a good thing and they already have them in paint. Mark said it was amazingly cool because there were less defects and better finishes. I also remember the strange dream I had after talking to Mark about how nano's are contained, have a purpose and so on. (my dream...I went to bed and woke up realizing there were no wood products because nano's decided that termites were the greater race...haha yeah my mind does do it's own thing and tends to wonder but hey that's me and maybe one day the nano's will fix that flaw.)

Well remember the ultimate death thing, it isn't to far off. There have been many articles containing information about nanotechnology and it's effects; just a few headlines:

A report last month said new nano products were reaching the market at a rate of three to four a week. See the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies websites.

Carbon nanotubes introduced into the abdominal cavity of mice show asbestos-like pathogenicity in a pilot study. Nature Nanotechnology.

Carbon Nanotubes That Look Like Asbestos, Behave Like Asbestos
New study shows inhaling long, thin carbon nanotubes may result in asbestos-like health effects

Carbon nanotubes may be as harmful as asbestos

Carbon Nanotubes That Look Like Asbestos, Behave Like Asbestos, Could Lead To Asbestos-related Disease

Health threat of nanotubes may be similar to asbestos, study warns
Carbon nanotubes, the poster child of the burgeoning nanotechnology industry, could trigger diseases similar to those caused by asbestos, a study suggests.

So now on to the real scoop NANOTECHNOLOGY: Questions and Answers.

Remember the old saying it if it looks like it and acts like it it is? Seems we may have the new asbestos. Rory of Hazard asked Jim Thomasa few tough questions most like myself didn't even want to hear.

1. Is there evidence of a workplace risk at this time? Have we got a possible asbestos for the 21st century on our hands? Or are workers being exposed to substances that may or may not in a generation be revealed to have been causes of chronic disease? Read Jim's answer

2. Are existing laws, risk assessment/management strategies and health and safety enforcement regimes up to the job? Read Jim's answer

3. What action should the government and its safety enforcement agency, the Health and Safety Executive, be taking at this time? Read Jim's answer

4. Anything else you think HSE and trade unions should be hearing…Read Jim's answer

It seems
nanoparticles can cross the blood brain barrier and possibly the placenta and in some cases can enter into the nucleii of cells. Do you hear this mom's It will more than likely be able to reach our unborn children and keep in mind many family members were able to get mesothelioma from the clothes of their spouses and fathers.

Jim also stated, "photocatalytic titanium dioxide nanoparticles of the sort that are being applied to Pilkington self cleaning windows produce large amounts of free radicals and can damage DNA if they get into skin cells....In effect what we are doing is creating hundreds and ultimately thousands of new species of materials with new properties at a scale where those materials can move about in unprecedented ways."

Well it only makes since that their will be no real way to categorize these new nano's with each having it's own properties, size and shape meaning even if it has the same bace the particle will have differing effects. these short verson of Jim's example is: "a rutile crystal behaves differently from an anatase crystal (needlike vs square) which in turn behaves differently if you coat it with silica."

Of course like most new technology we should have no fear because there are no regulations guarding these new little creatures therefore it should be understood that these are happy little nano's here to enrich our lives. Who knows the next step may be Nano Buddy's for our children. Maybe just maybe some of our children's playthings already contain these little fellows.

Well maybe I have went over board and maybe not. The facts are we really don't know and will not find out for years. Then it will take years to get our governments to even acknowledge that there is a problem. We do have a chose we can either close our eyes as we did with asbestos or we can be on top of this issue and keep millions of people from dying of the illnesses that will arise. Don't let the fact that like myself it's above your head, we can still swim to safety.

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