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WP6 Ecotoxicological Effects of Manufactured Nanomaterials
() Overview of Nanomaterials Toxicology.
Wilson, S1, 1 Chemistry Department, New York University, New York, NY, USA
ABSTRACT- While the potential commercial impact of nanotechnology has generated considerable enthusiasm, the effects of man-made nanomaterials on the environment and on living organisms is largely unexplored. Indeed, public concern over the potential health impact of engineered nanomaterials has already emerged. The discovery of fullerenes and carbon nanotubes, helped jumpstart the global nanotechnology revolution and was an important driving force in launching the federal National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) in January 2000. Remarkable progress has been made in commercial applications and ton-scale manufacturing of fullerenes. While there is a great deal known about health effects of fullerene materials -- there has not been much advance in our understanding of the toxicity and potential environmental health impact of other nanomaterials. It has been known for some time that nanometer-sized particles play an important role in ecosystems and are always present in plants and animals. Even the buckyball (fullerene-C60) has been found to be ubiquitous in nature, having been found in many carbon-rich deposits in nature including the KT (Cretaceous-Tertiary) boundary of the earth, the carbon-rich geological layer having been laid down by the global wild-fires 65 million years ago that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs. This lecture will provide an overview of nanotechnology, a summary of specific nanomaterials currently reaching commercial-scale production, and discuss what is known so far about the health effects of key nanomaterials.
Key words: health effects, nanotechnology, fullerenes, toxicology
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