Are carbon nanotubes the new asbestos?

Bike makers may be gushing about carbon nanotubes but experts at the recent International Congress of Nanotechnology in San Francisco said few toxicology tests have been carried out on nanotech products. The Nanoethics Group, a US research organisation, said nanomaterials may be amazingly strong but they are not biodegradable and there could be many other unforeseen future problems with nanotech products.
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Carbon nanotube technology brings many strenght-to-weight ratio benefits but before you go cutting down your nanotech steerer tubes, bear in mind that a study in the US last year showed that fish exposed to synthetic carbon molecules developed brain damage seventeen times faster than normal.

This was reported in the business section of the Independent on Sunday at the weekend.

"Carbon nanotubes, which are vastly stronger than steel, have a similar profile to asbestos fibre, and might have an equally devastating effect if released into the environment and absorbed by our bodies," said the piece.

Read the full article here:

http://news.independent.co.uk/.../article328077.ece

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