A new study raises the possibility that flies and other insects that encounter nanomaterial “hot spots,” or spills, near manufacturing facilities in the future could pick up and transport nanoparticles on their bodies, transferring the particles to other flies or habitats in the environment. The study on carbon nanoparticles – barely 1/5,000th the width of a human hair -is scheduled for the Aug. 15 issue of ACS’ Environmental Science + Technology.
Researchers are reporting that carbon nanoparticles can be transmitted by fruit flies and that certain nanoparticles can be toxic to adult flies.
Scientists use fruit flies as stand-ins for humans and other animals in certain kinds of research. There were no apparent ill effects on fruit fly larvae that ate food containing high concentrations of nanoparticles. However, adult flies died or were incapacitated when their bodies were exposed to large amounts of certain nanoparticles.
During the experiments, the researchers noted that contaminated flies transferred nanoparticles to other flies, and realized that such transfer could also occur between flies and humans in the future.
I saw this and wondered if nanoparticles might be responsible for killing the honey bees. Has anyone looked into this possibility?