Hi everyone,

I just read this news, reported roughly a month back that two women in China have been 'killed' by nanotechnology.

Read more about it!


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Comment by LaVerne L Poussaint on November 24, 2009 at 1:26am

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Comment by LaVerne L Poussaint on November 24, 2009 at 1:21am
Nano.org.uk reported this story in its NanoChina newsletter in September 2009, following the August online & September print issue of the European Respiratory Journal:

A full reading of this article and the original abstract and text (links provided below) will expound and expand the understanding of these women's cases and the disputation of variously involved researchers as to the data and source of disease and death.

"The study, led by Dr. Yuguo Song of the Occupational Disease and Clinical Toxicology Department at Chaoyang Hospital in Beijing, was published in August in the European Respiratory Journal, the official publication of the European Respiratory Society."

"Seven young female Chinese who had worked in a print plant for between five and thirteen months went to Chaoyang Hospital seeking treatment for respiratory problems, accompanied by itchy eruptions of the skin on the face and arms. Within two years, two of them died and a third developed severe, irreversible damage to her lungs."

"The liquid effusion around the lungs of the deceased and the surviving patient was found to contain nanoparticles with a diameter of approximately 30 nanometers. Along with an examination of the working environment where paint with nanoparticles added was used, Song and his colleagues concluded that the women’s illness was caused by the inherent toxicity of the nanoparticles, which entered the body either through the airways or through the skin, or perhaps both."

"The finding, if verified, will have significant implications for the development of nanotechnology. This explains why the topic got attention during ChinaNano 2009, which was held in early September in Beijing."

"After a presentation by Professor Andre Nel of the University of California Los Angeles Medical School, I asked him to comment on Song’s paper and the possible deaths caused by nanoparticles. Nel seemed to disagree with the conclusion of the paper, indicating that the cause of death most likely was not nanoparticles but other materials in the working environment such as smoke."

"During the same conference, Professor Mauro Ferrari of the University of Texas Houston Health Science Center made a similar point by saying that Song’s research is probably “incomplete and methodologically flawed.” In particular, he mentioned that there was no physical or chemical evidence to link the deaths to the so-called nanoparticles, and that the high-density organic smoke was very much suspect."

"Dr. Yuliang Zhao, a leading Chinese nano safety expert of the Institute of High-Energy Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the National Center for Nano Science and Technology’s Lab of Nano Biological Effect and Safety, indicated that further research was needed to determine whether the particles inhaled by the workers were at the nano scale."

"According to Zhao, Song’s paper did not include data indicating the source of the particles. Zhao also did not believe that nanoparticles were able to penetrate into workers’ bodies through the skin, as Song claimed."

"Zhao told me that Song had once approached him for collaboration on this research. But Zhao wanted to inspect the factory, to collect samples onsite himself, and to interview the workers, which Song did not grant. They ended up not working together."

"As Song calls on scientists throughout the world to “work together and address this new challenge” in his European Respiratory Journal paper, it is said that a team of European and American scientists plan to conduct fieldwork in the Chinese factory for further investigation. Until then, at least, nanoparticles have to be handled with care." Source: UPI Asia

This is the original abstract by researchers Song, Li, and Du, published 20 August 2009:
"Exposure to nanoparticles is related to pleural effusion, pulmonary fibrosis, and granuloma":

Eur Respir J 2009, doi:10.1183/09031936.00178308

Other secondary sources:

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