A study to be published in the next issue of the European Respiratory Journal (ERJ) has claimed the first concrete evidence that exposure to nanoparticles can cause disease. The discovery was made in workers who are exposed to nanoparticles during adhesive paint production, which have subsequently gone on to develop severe pulmonary fibrosis. Two of which have suffered fatal lung failure.
These findings have been previously seen in animal models where inhalatipn of nanoparticles has lead to inflammation and pulmonary fibrosis in mice. This is the first example of disease from nanoparticles to be documented in humans.
This study will fuel the debate and hurdles about safe nanotechnology and the applications it can have. Undoubtedly it wil stur up many debates i nthe scientific community about nanotoxicologies.
The diagnosis of the lung disease linked to nanoparticle exposure was made using light microscopy. A team at the Beijing Chaoyang hospital made this discovery after following 7 female workers at the apint factory who were admitted to their hospital with itchy eruptions on their skin and respiratory problems.
There are many concerns about the working conditions and the health and safety precautions in the factory where this occured. Although that tighter regulations may be needed for the use of nanotechnologies in the work place.
For more inforamtion to help you form your own decisions about this discovery the SafeNano team have made an impartial response tothe paper. – CT