Do Nanoparticles Pose a Health Risk?

(Graphic: National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology)

Mar 14, 2008 (SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN) — /SNIP/ In 2006 the EPA began to regulate nanosilver as a pesticide under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. As a result, companies employing such nanosilver particles (as an antimicrobial in a wide array of merchandise from computers to cooking pans) are required to register them as pesticides. Last week, the agency fined computer equipment maker IOGEAR of Irvine, Calif., $200,000 for failing to register the antimicrobial nanosilver in some of its wireless computer keyboards and mouses. Full Report

More than likely, you’ve already consumed or inhaled nanoparticles today. Would it surprise you to learn that these tiny molecules not only can cross the blood/brain barrier but also infiltrate lung tissue? Would it also surprise you to know that magnetic nanoparticles are used to deliver ‘time-released’ drugs and that some can be ‘remote-controlled’? If you’ve read Sharon’s novel, Armageddon Strain, then you might recognize this sort of science — are we getting close to the BioStrain chip she described? Maybe it’s already here. — PID