The Potential Adverse Health and Environmental Effects of Nanoparticles

By | September 18, 2009

Researchers are reporting that carbon nanoparticles can be transmitted by fruit flies and that certain nanoparticles can be toxic to adult flies. (Image: American Chemical Society)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.

via The Potential Adverse Health and Environmental Effects of Nanoparticles.

I saw this and wondered if nanoparticles might be responsible for killing the honey bees. Has anyone looked into this possibility?

4 thoughts on “The Potential Adverse Health and Environmental Effects of Nanoparticles

  1. Ann

    “Hot spots … near manufacturing facilities in the future”? Really? Wow, who would have thought? …

    Like industry of whatever kind never excretes waste materials and pollution that enters our drinking water and the air we breathe? God, are we living in a fantasy world?

    You see, boys and girls, no one likes to clean up after dinner and beside that no one gets paid enough for doing it. So, there you have it: A lot of dirty dishes in the kitchen sink.

    Industries are like little children they really, really like to make a lot of money, the more the better, but they don’t like cleaning up, before, during and after making it. Because, no one wants to give them their weekly allowance. … Spoiled kids!

    Meanwhile, we’ll just marvel at those incredibly small nanomaterials and particles and think how wonderful the science and technology is that developed those probably next cancer-causing agents of the future.

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  4. The Necromancer

    Your theory has some merit. We are beyond the pale when faced with releasing nanoparticles into the general environment without a real idea of their impact. And this research is bizarre too — somewhat akin to frying ants with a magnifying glass…

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