Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2008 16:19:30 -0500
Reply-To: List Moderator <ecgrants**At_Symbol_Here**UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: List Moderator <ecgrants**At_Symbol_Here**UVM.EDU>
Subject: IRSST - Nanoparticles research
Comments: To: SAFETY

Subject: IRSST - Nanoparticles research
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2008 11:29:16 -0500
From: mautom**At_Symbol_Here**

The Enormous Challenge of the Infinitesimally Small:
The Health Effects of Nanoparticles

The IRSST would like to announce the publication of its second  
literature review on the health risks of nanoparticles (NP). The  
review reveals the scope of current research in the field and points  
out that the toxic effects of NP on humans and animals are only  
partially understood.

Nonetheless, it has been clearly established that certain insoluble  
nanoparticles can pass through the various protective barriers of  
living organisms, be distributed throughout the body and accumulate in  

certain organs and cells. Toxic effects have already been documented  
at the pulmonary, cardiac, reproductive, renal, cutaneous and cellular  


While the literature review published in 2006 concluded that the  
toxicity was linked to the surface of the nanoparticles rather than  
their mass, we now know that numerous other factors can influence the  

toxicity of these products, including their size, number, shape,  
crystalline structure, tendency to aggregate, surface reactivity,  
chemical composition and solubility. Of course, any assessment of the  

risks to health must also take into account exposure routes, the  
duration and the concentration of particles. It must also consider  
individual susceptibility and the interaction of particles with the  
biological constituents of NP and their biological history.

Although major trends are becoming apparent, revealing numerous toxic  

effects associated with NP, what emerges is that each product might  
have its own toxicity. Claude Ostiguy, the chemist heading up the  
literature review, believes that =93the documented toxic effects on  
animals, as well as the physicochemical characteristics of NP, now  
justify taking all necessary steps to limit exposure and protect the  
health of individuals potentially exposed to them=94.

The IRSST will soon be publishing a guide to good practices for  
handling nanoparticles safely.

For more details or to download the report:: 

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