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Issue 25, 2011
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Health impact and safety of engineered nanomaterials

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Many engineered nanomaterials (NMs) are being synthesized and explored for potential use in consumer and medical products. Already, nanoparticles (NPs) of titanium dioxide (TiO2), zinc oxide (ZnO), silver (Ag) and other metals or their oxides are present in commercial products such as sunscreens, cosmetics, wound dressings, surgical tools, detergents, automotive paints and tires. More recent and advanced FDA-approved use of NMs includes quantum dots (QDs) in live cell imaging, zirconium oxides in bone replacement and prosthetic devices and nanocarriers in drug delivery. The benefits from nanotechnology are aplenty, comprising antimicrobial activities, scratch- and water-resistance, long-lasting shine, improved processor speeds and better display resolution, to name a few. While developers of these products often focus on the exciting beneficial aspects of their products, safety and toxicity issues are often not discussed in detail. Long-term effects such as chronic exposure and environmental pollution are even less documented. Along with widespread manufacture and use of NMs, concerns for occupational hazards, proper handling, disposal, storage, shipping and clean up are expected to rise. This review focus on the possible biological impact of engineered NPs, serving as a reminder that nanomaterials can become a double-edged sword if not properly handled.

Graphical abstract: Health impact and safety of engineered nanomaterials

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Publication details

The article was received on 30 Nov 2010, accepted on 21 Mar 2011 and first published on 11 Apr 2011

Article type: Feature Article
DOI: 10.1039/C0CC05271J
Citation: Chem. Commun., 2011,47, 7025-7038
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    Health impact and safety of engineered nanomaterials

    Y. Teow, P. V. Asharani, M. P. Hande and S. Valiyaveettil, Chem. Commun., 2011, 47, 7025
    DOI: 10.1039/C0CC05271J

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