Scientist warns of nanotechnology dangers

May 3, 2006

A British scientist is warning that hundreds of nanotechnology products are about to go on sale despite a lack of biological safety testing.

Nanotechnology products -- containing materials that are 10,000 times smaller than the width of a hair -- are already being used in numerous products, from medical bandages to golf clubs and paints.

Edinburgh University Professor Anthony Seaton, one of Britain's leading environmental health experts, says concerns that tiny particles from the products might cause respiratory, cardiac and immune problems had not been properly assessed, The Scotsman reported Wednesday.

Speaking with the newspaper ahead of a presentation he gave Tuesday at the Nanoparticles for European Industry conference in London, Seaton said that recommended nano testing "simply hasn't happened."

A recent report from a U.S. science watchdog suggested there are already 200 products containing nanoparticles on the marketplace, with hundreds more to be introduced during the coming year.

Nano critics point to asbestos -- a nanoparticle already linked with cancer -- and the high rate of heart failure in dense pollution areas, as early warnings of nanoparticles' potential hazards when inhaled, the newspaper said.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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