Why carbon nanotubes spell trouble for cells

It's been long known that asbestos spells trouble for human cells. Scientists have seen cells stabbed with spiky, long asbestos fibers, and the image is gory: Part of the fiber is protruding from the cell, like a quivering ...

Study shows how carbon nanotubes can affect lining of the lungs

(PhysOrg.com) -- Carbon nanotubes are being considered for use in everything from sports equipment to medical applications, but a great deal remains unknown about whether these materials cause respiratory or other health ...

Interaction with lung cells transforms asbestos particles

A common building material, asbestos is the term used to describe a range of naturally growing minerals. Serious diseases, including mesothelioma and lung cancer, can arise decades after coming into contact with asbestos.

U.S. asbestos sites made risky by some remediation strategies

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) largely remedies Superfund sites containing asbestos by capping them with soil to lock the buried toxin in place. But new research suggests that this may actually increase the likelihood ...

How do green algae react to carbon nanotubes?

Nanoparticles such as carbon nanotubes (CNT), which are found in an ever-increasing number of products, are ending up more and more frequently in our surroundings. If and how they affect aquatic ecosystems are questions which ...

Nanotechnology: A risky frontier?

Inside a cramped back room at Rushford Hypersonic, a start-up headquartered in southeastern Minnesota, sits a cube-like machine that throws a mean atomic fastball. At the push of a button, the reactor hurls atoms toward a ...

Shining the light on asbestos

Asbestos is a toxic substance that is found in older buildings, as well as in cosmetics and products for children. As testing for its presence can be problematic, Hiroshima University Professor Akio Kuroda has been working ...

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Asbestos

Asbestos (pronounced  /æsˈbɛstəs/ or /æzˈbɛstəs/) is a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals used commercially for their desirable physical properties. They all have in common their eponymous, asbestiform habit: long, (1:20) thin fibrous crystals. The inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause serious illnesses, including malignant lung cancer, mesothelioma (a formerly rare cancer strongly associated with exposure to amphibole asbestos), and asbestosis (a type of pneumoconiosis). Long exposure to high concentrations of asbestos fibers is more likely to cause health problems.This is most common among the miners of asbestos, since they have the longest exposure to it. The European Union has banned all use of asbestos and extraction, manufacture and processing of asbestos products.

Asbestos became increasingly popular among manufacturers and builders in the late 19th century because of its sound absorption, average tensile strength, and its resistance to fire, heat, electrical and chemical damage. It was used in such applications as electrical insulation for hotplate wiring and in building insulation. When asbestos is used for its resistance to fire or heat, the fibers are often mixed with cement (resulting in fiber cement) or woven into fabric or mats. Commercial asbestos mining began in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada and the world's largest asbestos mine is located in the town of Asbestos, Quebec.

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