Researchers Quantify Health Impact of Nanofibers

Researchers at University of Edinburgh have quantified the health impact of nanofibers, paving the way to reduce health risks faced by people working with these small fibers utilized in manufacturing industries.

The study has identified the lengths at which the nanofibers are dangerous to the lungs. When inhaled, these tiny fibers can enter the lung cavity due to their small size, which is a 1000-fold thinner than a human hair. This may cause mesothelioma, a cancer caused by inhaling asbestos fibers, which are analogous to nanofibers.

In the study, the University of Edinburgh researchers discovered that short fibers having a length of below five-thousandths of a millimeter did not affect lung cells. On the other hand, longer fibers are harmful to lung cell as they can enter the lung cavity and get trapped, thus causing disease.

Ken Donaldson, Professor of Respiratory Toxicology at the University of Edinburgh, stated that fabrication of new types of nanofibers by nanotechnology industries is raising concern over their health impact as they are analogous in shape to asbestos. It was a known fact that longer fibers are potentially more dangerous than shorter fibers in causing tumors. However, the cut-off length at which they become harmful was unknown so far. Identifying the cut-off length is crucial to ensure the production of safe fibers in the future and to better understand the health impact of asbestos and other fibers.

During the study, the researchers used microscopic silver casts to fabricate different sized fibers. They then observed the impact of these fibers on mouse cells to obtain their findings.

Will Soutter

Written by

Will Soutter

Will has a B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Durham, and a M.Sc. in Green Chemistry from the University of York. Naturally, Will is our resident Chemistry expert but, a love of science and the internet makes Will the all-rounder of the team. In his spare time Will likes to play the drums, cook and brew cider.

Citations

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Soutter, Will. (2019, February 12). Researchers Quantify Health Impact of Nanofibers. AZoNano. Retrieved on June 16, 2024 from https://www.azonano.com/news.aspx?newsID=25435.

  • MLA

    Soutter, Will. "Researchers Quantify Health Impact of Nanofibers". AZoNano. 16 June 2024. <https://www.azonano.com/news.aspx?newsID=25435>.

  • Chicago

    Soutter, Will. "Researchers Quantify Health Impact of Nanofibers". AZoNano. https://www.azonano.com/news.aspx?newsID=25435. (accessed June 16, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Soutter, Will. 2019. Researchers Quantify Health Impact of Nanofibers. AZoNano, viewed 16 June 2024, https://www.azonano.com/news.aspx?newsID=25435.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this news story?

Leave your feedback
Your comment type
Submit

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.