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Saturday, 19 October 2019
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Chemistry: Giant hyperthermal effect in Mg-doped Fe3O4 - Friday, 09 February 2018 11:36
Biology: Nanodiamonds for antibacterial implants - Monday, 02 November 2015 21:41
Ecology: Nano-products risks overexaggerated - Tuesday, 24 June 2014 11:02

Are nano-products really so dangerous?

silver nanoparticles textilesThe increasing concerns of the society about the possible risks associated with the use of nanoparticles, and especially silver nanoparticles in textiles, necessitates a closer scientific look at the possible risks associated with the use of nano-enabled products.

A group of scientists from Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, have performed an exhaustive study on the release of silver from textiles treated with either silver nanoparticles or by a "conventional silver" impregnation, which is being in use since 1950-s. Several different silver-containing fabrics were compared.

The results published in ACS Nano indicate that the leakage of silver nanoparticles from NP-treated textiles is an order of magnitude lower than from the conventionally treated fabrics. Although the conventional process doesn't target on the formation of nanoparticles "in" or "on" textile fibres, the lower stability of the silver forms used for fabrication of such textiles, leads to the formation of silver nanoparticles during the washing process.

"...in this study, we observed, that textiles treated with "conventional" silver have equal or greater propensity to form nanosilver particles during washing than those treated with "nano" silver", tells Dr. B. Nowak.

This study clearly shows how exaggerated can be the fears of the community and governments' suspicions about the nanotechnologies. It is obvious that risks associated with any new material shall be studied, but  such a fierce and militant zeal with a cheeky and provocative media support is just not acceptible.

 

Image source: ACS Nano
(C) NanoJam, 2014

Nanosilver from textiles pose environmental hazard

Rickard-Arvidsson-690x330Silver nanoparticles can have a severe environmental impact if their utilisation in clothing continues to increase. If everyone buys one silver nanoparticle-treated sock a year, the silver concentration in waste water treatment plant sludge can double. If the sludge is subsequently used as fertilizer, the silver can cause long-term damage to agricultural land. These are the results of a study conducted by Chalmers researcher Rickard Arvidsson.

power pollution electricity 230219 lLux research, an analytics company targeted on emerging technologies, has summarized it's view on the six most promising technologies for energy saving.

So, what are these break-through technologies? The answer is that come from several different segments and will show up in several different industries over the next decade. Their potential impact will depend on the country in which they are applied. So, get the hint what the next decade will bring us:

1. Low-friction tribological coatings in automotive engines
2. Nanofiber air filters
3. Nano-enabled insulation
4. Lightweight nanocomposite automotive parts
5. Thermochromic windows
6. Quantum dot enabled light sources

Lux believes that already within next 7 years the worldwide energy consumption can be reduced by 1.6%. In perspective, the total energy saving alone in Germany, US and Japan can reach 12%. And all this using the nanotechnology.

Metal Oxide Nanoparticles Toxicity Summary

hinamoxConsortium of Scientists from the European project HINAMOX ending in September 2012, targeted on the study of the safety of nanoparticles delivered excellent and surprising results.

Within the last three years the extensive work of 7 groups across Europe (all of them members of the European Nanosafety Cluster) as well as from Mexico and China was targeted on the thorough in vitro and in vivo study of possible adverse effects caused by metal oxide nanoparticles. Cell proliferation, cytotoxicity, immune response, genotoxicity, dust formation experiments as well as intravenous, nasal, oral and topical administrations of five types of nanomaterials – oxides of aluminium, cerium, iron, titanium and zinc – were studied.

All materials - with exception of ZnO nanoparticles - showed

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