Read some accounts of nanotechnology risks, and you might be forgiven for concluding that a single engineered nanoparticle can kill you. Of course, a little critical thinking soon dispels this notion—we are constantly bombarded with incidental nanoparticles from sources that include cars, incinerators and fires; we have been since birth. And as critics of “risk extremists” often point out, we seem to be doing just fine in this nano-rich environment. But does this mean that the potential risks associated with engineered nanoparticles are little more than a myth?
This was the question I faced while writing an opinions piece for the latest issue of Nano Today. It’s a question that’s constantly popping up, either because someone has forgotten (or never realized) that nanoparticle exposure is a fact of life, or as a justification for not worrying about the engineered varieties of nanoparticles. Read the rest of this entry »