Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mesothelioma? Scientists quantify nanofiber health risk to workers

Date:
August 22, 2012
Source:
University of Edinburgh
Summary:
Health risks posed to people who work with tiny fibers used in manufacturing industries could be reduced, thanks to new research. Research into the health risks posed by nanofibers – used to strengthen objects from tennis rackets to airplane wings – has pinpointed the lengths at which these fibers are harmful to the lungs.

Health risks posed to people who work with tiny fibres used in manufacturing industries could be reduced, thanks to new research.

Research into the health risks posed by nanofibres -- used to strengthen objects from tennis rackets to airplane wings -- has pinpointed the lengths at which these fibres are harmful to the lungs.

Nanofibres, which can be made from a range of materials including carbon, are about 1,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair and can reach the lung cavity when inhaled.

This may lead to a cancer known as mesothelioma, which is known to be caused by breathing in asbestos fibres, which are similar to nanofibres.

The study by the University of Edinburgh found that lung cells were not affected by short fibres that were less than five-thousandths of a millimetre long.

However, longer fibres can reach the lung cavity, where they become stuck and cause disease.

Ken Donaldson, Professor of Respiratory Toxicology at the University of Edinburgh, said: "Concern has been expressed that new kinds of nanofibres being made by nanotechnology industries might pose a risk because they have a similar shape to asbestos.

"We knew that long fibres, compared with shorter fibres, could cause tumours but until now we did not know the cut-off length at which this happened. Knowing the length beyond which the tiny fibres can cause disease is important in ensuring that safe fibres are made in the future as well as helping to understand the current risk from asbestos and other fibres."

The researchers, whose study is published in the journal Toxicology Sciences, created fibres of different lengths using minute silver casts. They then looked at the effect of these fibres on mouse cells to reach their findings.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Edinburgh. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. Schinwald, F. A. Murphy, A. Prina-Mello, C. A. Poland, F. Byrne, D. Movia, J. R. Glass, J. C. Dickerson, D. A. Schultz, C. E. Jeffree, W. MacNee, K. Donaldson. The Threshold Length for Fiber-Induced Acute Pleural Inflammation: Shedding Light on the Early Events in Asbestos-Induced Mesothelioma. Toxicological Sciences, 2012; 128 (2): 461 DOI: 10.1093/toxsci/kfs171

Cite This Page:

University of Edinburgh. "Mesothelioma? Scientists quantify nanofiber health risk to workers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120822112208.htm>.
University of Edinburgh. (2012, August 22). Mesothelioma? Scientists quantify nanofiber health risk to workers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120822112208.htm
University of Edinburgh. "Mesothelioma? Scientists quantify nanofiber health risk to workers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120822112208.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 18, 2014) Researchers at The National University of Singapore have invented a new microneedle patch that could offer a faster and less painful delivery of drugs such as insulin and painkillers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) The first nurse to be diagnosed with Ebola at a Dallas hospital walked down the stairs of an executive jet into an ambulance at an airport in Frederick, Maryland, on Thursday. Pham will be treated at the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) A Caribbean cruise ship carrying a Dallas health care worker who is being monitored for signs of the Ebola virus is heading back to Texas, US, after being refused permission to dock in Cozumel, Mexico. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) All four suspected Ebola cases admitted to hospitals in Spain on Thursday have tested negative for the deadly virus in a first round of tests, the government said Friday. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins