A new study in the European Respiratory Journal has for the first time claimed a concrete link between exposure to nanoparticles in adhesive paint and the development of sever pulmonary fibrosis.
The report was based on 7 Chinese workers who started to complain of various respiratory and breathing problems resulting in two of the workers dying. The workers at the time were spraying paint onto polystyrene slabs. Lung biopsys on three of the women showed that the nanoparticles used in the paint where present in the lungs.
This evidence is the first concrete link that nanopartciles are in fact harmful to humans despite knowing for several years that the particles where harmful to animals. It has been demonstrated that nanoparticles can suppress the immune system of mice which again raises doubts for anyone working with these substances.
What are nanoparticles? The needle-like fibre shape of CNTs, similar to asbestos fibers, raises fears that widespread use of carbon nanotubes may lead to mesothelioma, cancer of the lining of the lungs often caused by exposure to asbestos. A recently-published pilot study supports this prediction. Scientists exposed the mesothelial lining of the body cavity of mice, as a surrogate for the mesothelial lining of the chest cavity, to long multi-walled carbon nanotubes and observed asbestos-like, length-dependent, pathogenic behaviour which included inflammation and formation of lesions known as granulomas. Authors of the study conclude: