Study finds public relatively unconcerned about nanotechnology risks

Apr 12, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new study finds that the general public thinks getting a suntan poses a greater public health risk than nanotechnology or other nanoparticle applications. The study, from North Carolina State University, compared survey respondents’ perceived risk of nanoparticles with 23 other public-health risks.

The study is the first to compare the public’s perception of the risks associated with nanoparticles to other environmental and health safety risks. Researchers found that nanoparticles are perceived as being a relatively low risk.

“For example, 19 of the other public-health risks were perceived as more hazardous, including suntanning and drinking alcohol,” says Dr. Andrew Binder, an assistant professor of communication at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the study. “The only things viewed as less risky were cell-phone use, blood transfusions, commercial air travel and medical X-rays.”

In fact, 60 percent of respondents felt that nanoparticles posed either no health risk or only a slight health risk.

In the study, researchers asked a nationally representative panel of 307 people a battery of questions about how risky they believe nanoparticles are compared to 23 other public health risks – such as obesity, smoking, using cell phones and nuclear energy.

Policy implications of these findings could be substantial given the concerns expressed by proponents and opponents of that the public is wary of its environmental health and safety dangers. “The findings suggest just the opposite,” says Dr. David Berube, professor of communication at NC State and lead author of the study. “While it remains unclear whether nanoparticles are safe, they are not a major concern among the general public.”

The paper, “Comparing nanoparticle risk perceptions to other known EHS risks,” is forthcoming from the Journal of Nanoparticle Research. The paper was co-authored by Berube and Binder; Jordan Frith and Christopher Cummings, Ph.D. students at NC State; and Dr. Robert Oldendick of the University of South Carolina. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation.

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Quantum_Conundrum
5 / 5 (2) Apr 12, 2011
The "general public" is either too uneducated, too drunk, or distracted to give a damn.

What kind of idiot thinks using a cell phone is as dangerous as the POTENTIAL of nanoparticles?

it's already been shown that inhaled carbon nanotubes act just like inhaled asbestos, which is to say, it leads to cancer and death in lab animals.

Just wait till medical nano-machines and military nano-machines are built.

"Somebody" in the military and counter terrorism agencies had better start developing plans and technologies to deal with nano-weapons.
rgwalther
2 / 5 (4) Apr 12, 2011
* Same kind of idiot who thinks the sun rotates around the Earth.
* Same kind of idiot who gives money to scientology or(add favorite religious fanaticsm here).
* Same kind of idiot who thinks American mIdol is news.
* Cell phones are creatures of Satan.
* Do a Clinton. Don't inhale.
* I don't own any lab animals, so no problem.
* I am a realist. I don't believe in anything I can't see. Nano tech is invisible.
* Everyone knows how fantastic it is that Mork invented nano tech, nano-nano.
* It is a matter of incredible chance that we are here. Even less likely that we are here on the internet. The same degree of chance will determine if we are here tomorrow.
rgwalther
3 / 5 (3) Apr 12, 2011
Obesity?! There has never before in the history of this planet been any human culture in which an entire population had constant access to an overabundance of food. How could obesity be viewed as health problem? Compared to millenia of cyclical brutal kwashiorkor and mass starvation, obesity is utopian. Ask a Somalian or a Haitian or a North Korean or anyone who lived before 1950.
FrankHerbert
1 / 5 (6) Apr 12, 2011
Lol I'm assuming you're a gross fat fuck rgwalther. At least you'll die sooner.
rgwalther
5 / 5 (1) Apr 12, 2011
Lol I'm assuming you're a gross fat fuck rgwalther. At least you'll die sooner.

That's funny! I have already been dead twice. 2 different, emergency open heart, valve replacement surgeries from undiagnosed congenital heart defect. I am now substantially overweight, have been since my eighth child was born in 1987. Blood pressure 132 over 84. I am still alive. Yoga, martial arts, running... 10 years of promoting major rock concerts, law school, prison and 20 years of high end computer consulting for Apple and P&G among others.
I really hope that you are joking, but your juvenile intensity is very odd, especially considering that you are using an extremely intelligent and enlightened man's name.
Personally I despise obesity, especially mine; but I was addressing the FOCUS of THIS story concerning attitudes of the population.
Once upon a time I would have come for you to elicit an explanation for your insecure arrogance.

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