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A New Sickness This Way Comes?

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posted on Feb, 19 2009 @ 06:49 AM
As if the global economic and climate change tsunamis are not enough, perhaps we should also prepare for a third wave-----> nanotechnology.


Obviously, nanotechnology has been hailed as a great advancement in science, and in particular, carbon nanotubes are at the forefront of a manufacturing revolution well under way.

Carbon nanotubes appear in everything from cosmetics to cleaning solvents. They also have applications in medicine, energy and a whole host of other industries. So useful are these little suckers, that it's starting to get very difficult to keep track of where they might just show up.

To get a general sense of how broadly used these are in consumer products, take a look at this inventory complied by The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies:



And it's no wonder nanotechnology has taken the manufacturing world by storm. So significant is the science, that the Congressional Research Service produced for Congress no less than five reports on the subject in the last year alone.

CRS: The National Nanotechnology Initiative: Overview, Reauthorization, and Appropriations Issues, February 29, 2008

CRS: Nanotechnology and U.S. Competitiveness: Issues and Options, May 15, 2008

CRS: Nanotechnology: A Policy Primer, May 20, 2008

CRS: Engineered Nanoscale Materials and Derivative Products: Regulatory Challenges, July 18, 2008

CRS: Nanotechnology and Environmental, Health, and Safety: Issues for Consideration, August 6, 2008

Before 2008, there were none.

As the first CRS Report indicates:

Nanotechnology has been an issue of interest to Congress for a number of years,
coming into focus in 2000 with the launch of the U.S. National Nanotechnology
Initiative (NNI)
by President Clinton in his FY2001 budget request to Congress.
Since then, Congress has appropriated more than $8 billion for nanotechnology
research and development (R&D).

See also, U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI)

Ok, so where is this thread going?

Published in an article yesterday, the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars, in Washington D.C., announced disturbing news:

They believe carbon nanotubes cause cancer.

According to researchers based out of the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars in Washington D.C., the early 90’s development of carbon nanotubes has been an amazing feat for technological applications, however, it has not gone without its price. Specifically, carbon nanotubes may be causing harm to the human body in the form of mesothelioma cancer.

If the carbon nanotubes are introduced into the wrong environment, the development of lesions and inflammation of the lungs occurs - symptoms similar to that of mesothelioma cancer and asbestos exposure. Researchers uncovered the finding through exposure of carbon nanotubes to animals.

Study Uncovers Mesothelioma Link to Nanotechnology

If the cancer link is true, we may be in for a real mess...

But let's look first to the type of cancer it may cause: mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that is almost always caused by previous exposure to asbestos. In this disease, malignant cells develop in the mesothelium, a protective lining that covers most of the body's internal organs. Its most common site is the pleura (outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall), but it may also occur in the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity), the heart, the pericardium (a sac that surrounds the heart) or tunica vaginalis.

Most people who develop mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos particles, or they have been exposed to asbestos dust and fiber in other ways. Washing the clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos can also put a person at risk for developing mesothelioma. Unlike lung cancer, there is no association between mesothelioma and smoking. Compensation via asbestos funds or lawsuits is an important issue in mesothelioma (see asbestos and the law).

The symptoms of mesothelioma include shortness of breath due to pleural effusion (fluid between the lung and the chest wall) or chest wall pain, and general symptoms such as weight loss. The diagnosis may be suspected with chest X-ray and CT scan, and is confirmed with a biopsy (tissue sample) and microscopic examination. A thoracoscopy (inserting a tube with a camera into the chest) can be used to take biopsies. It allows the introduction of substances such as talc to obliterate the pleural space (called pleurodesis), which prevents more fluid from accumulating and pressing on the lung. Despite treatment with chemotherapy, radiation therapy or sometimes surgery, the disease carries a poor prognosis. Research about screening tests for the early detection of mesothelioma is ongoing.

To get a brief sense of the disease in human terms, watch this British video on mesothelioma:



So now you see where this thread is going...

Are we in for an Asbestos II? The illnesses? The deaths? The litigation? The expense?

Asbestos litigation is the longest, most expensive mass tort in U.S. history, involving more than 8,400 defendants and 730,000 claimants as of 2002 according to the RAND Corporation, and at least one defendant reported claim counts in excess of 800,000 in 2006.

Current trends indicate that the worldwide rate at which people are diagnosed with the disease will likely increase through the next decade. Analysts have estimated that the total costs of asbestos litigation in the USA alone is over $250 billion.

The Federal legal system in the United States has been faced with numerous counts of asbestos related suits, which often included multiple plaintiffs with similar symptoms. The concern with these court cases are the staggering numbers, which in 1999 recorded 200,000 cases pending in the Federal court system of the United States [58]. Further, it is estimated that within the next 40 years, cases may balloon to seven hundred thousand cases. These numbers help explain how there are thousands of current pending cases.


So these little miracles of science may bring a heavy price to a great many of us.

Consider that there is nearly zero oversight of the current use of carbon nantubes.

Consider also that in the current economic environment, can there be any doubt we will see an acceleration of the use of this material? ( Example. )

Maybe the worry is over nothing.

But if not, this appears to be yet another train that has already left the station...

Enjoy the ride.

[edit on 19-2-2009 by loam]

posted on Feb, 19 2009 @ 07:30 AM
not to mention Morgellons Syndrome...


posted on Feb, 19 2009 @ 09:21 AM
The sad truth of it all is that we are exposed to all kinds of crap every single day and no one has any idea what the true long term effects are, nanotechnology being the latest in a long run.

Chemicals in food and vaccines. Drugs being used indiscriminately. Pollution in everything we eat, breathe, and touch. GMO food. Sure, on the short term and massive scale, there's not been much. It's the little cases that worry me. Obesity, vaccine reactions, drug side effects, etc. In another 50 years, who knows where we will be after lifetimes of exposure?

posted on Feb, 19 2009 @ 09:55 AM
Here are more details on the studies themselves, and commentary from people in the 'industry' so to speak.

More info here:

posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 07:56 AM
reply to post by prevenge

Perhaps. I'm agnostic on that subject.

reply to post by CeltAngel

Yes we are. But this looks to be a really big potential problem now.

reply to post by Jadette

Here is another article I found interesting:

Experts have warned Ottawa to regulate nanotechnology, Ottawa has yet to respond

The breakneck pace at which products with altered molecules are making their way to store shelves has scientists worried that governments around the world aren't doing enough to ensure that the new technology is safe for people and the environment.

In Canada, a blue-ribbon panel of 15 nanotechnology experts warned the federal government last summer that action is "urgently" needed to assess the potential risks of these tiny particles, but Health Canada has yet to respond to their report.

There are no nanomaterial-specific regulations in effect in Canada. As it stands, Ottawa doesn't even have a list of nanomaterials that have been developed or are contained in more than 800 products already being hawked to consumers.

And get a load of this:

Insurers scrutinize nanotechnology

On September 24, 2008, the U.S. insurance company Continental Western Group (CWG) issued a statement noting that it would exclude nanotubes and nanotechnology from its coverage. The statement has since disappeared from the CWG website, and fears of similar decisions by other insurance companies are as yet unrealized. But although CWG’s decision to exclude nanotechnology was criticized by many as hasty and ill-informed, experts note that it represents the increasing concern among insurers about the emerging risks of nanotechnology.

“Nanotechnology is a big problem because the technology is moving much faster, as we all know, than information on health and environmental safety,” says Robert Blaunstein of Nanotechnology Risk Management, a firm that advises industries, insurers, and investors on how to best manage the risks of nanotechnology.

So now insureres are excluding coverage. The article continues:

And insurance companies agree. Lloyd’s (U.K.), the oldest and one of the largest insurance firms in the world, along with other influential insurance companies, has listed nanotechnology at the top of its “emerging risks” list. “The biggest challenge facing insurers may be the diverse nature of nanotechnology and the lack of information regarding its impact to health and the environment,” wrote David Baxter, in an article in the February 2008 newsletter of SafeNano Initiative, an undertaking by the U.K.’s Institute of Occupational Medicine, which helps researchers and industries quantify and control the risks of the technology. Baxter is the lead researcher on the Exposure Management Team of Lloyd’s.

...and yet, the general public remains asleep at the wheel.

Even the apparent general lack of interest in this thread seems to prove that point.

Sad, really.

Nothing produced seems safe anymore...

[edit on 24-2-2009 by loam]

posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 08:04 AM
A star and a flag for later reading...thank you very much for bringing this to our attention. Scary stuff. I do wish we would learn not to meddle in absolutely bloody everything.....

posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 08:17 AM
Yeah but nano technology can also be a good thing.
A guy from Florida John Kanzius who got cancer found a way to eliminate cancer tumors and cells, without cutting a person open, using RF and Nano particles.
Basically they make cells which only find cancer cells.
And they have nano particles of gold inside those cells which find the cancer cells.
Then when they have lodged into the cancer cells they zap them with the RF, and it kills the cancer cells only.

And this is being taken very seriously, not just some crackpot idea.

So not only can they use them to eradicate existing cancer.
But this machine may be able to destroy any lost nano particles.

posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 08:24 AM
reply to post by BorgHoffen

I hear you. There is no doubt this technology holds great promise.

But the point of this thread is that it holds great danger as well....and very few seem to be looking at that right now, despite the fact these little suckers are appearing in nearly EVERYTHING, except perhaps your coffee.

[edit on 24-2-2009 by loam]

posted on Feb, 25 2009 @ 04:04 PM
reply to post by Jadette

I was just reading your links, and it is interesting to me that in both studies nanotubes were injected.

I wonder if there are any current inhalation studies underway?

Scary stuff.

posted on Feb, 25 2009 @ 04:10 PM
In the mad rush to monetize anything and everything, human health is being risked by the corporations that stand to profit. Yet another example of not learning from the past. Corporations touted asbestos as the next best material and look what it has brought us. This, I can tell, will be no diiferent. S&F!

posted on Feb, 25 2009 @ 04:22 PM
Brilliant work, as always loam. Flagged and noted.

FYI - It's now proved that ultra-fine particles (as from diesel etc.) can enter the bloodstream via the lungs and cause thrombo-embolisms, which can kill if they lodge in the heart or brain..... Likely, nano-particles have the same capacity but I doubt anyone's tested to see.

BTW - Have you read "Prey" by Michael Crichton - an astounding, well-researched worse case nano-tech scenario.


posted on Feb, 25 2009 @ 04:43 PM
reply to post by soficrow

Thanks, soficrow.

It's so good to see you posting again.

I have not read "Prey". I'll have to look that one up.

Did you look through the list of consumer products containing these carbon nanotubes?

Good god! People are slathering this stuff on their bodies!!!

That's just plain frightening.

[edit on 25-2-2009 by loam]

posted on Feb, 25 2009 @ 04:50 PM

Originally posted by loam
reply to post by soficrow

I have not read "Prey". I'll have to look that one up.

Do. It's fast read and nails the main issues.

Did you look through the list of consumer products containing these carbon nanotubes?

Not yet, but I will. ...Tried to research the subject a few years ago, but couldn't find any comprehensive list of products. Thanks for doing the work!

Good god! People are slathering this stuff on their bodies!!!

That's just plain frightening.

Really really scary too.

posted on Feb, 25 2009 @ 04:54 PM
reply to post by soficrow

Here's the link of products.

One of them is "NanoTea"!!!! Can you imagine?

[edit on 25-2-2009 by loam]

posted on Feb, 25 2009 @ 05:00 PM
Yeehaaa My Oil of Olay is not on the list!!! Thats the best face cream ever and its taken 5yrs off my looks!!!

posted on Feb, 25 2009 @ 08:33 PM
Speaking of food, this article was published just the other day:

"Nanofoods" Offer Big Flavor, Low Fat, Stealth Vitamins

Look how quickly they are moving forward with the application of this science.

posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 07:06 AM

Originally posted by loam
Speaking of food, this article was published just the other day:

"Nanofoods" Offer Big Flavor, Low Fat, Stealth Vitamins

Look how quickly they are moving forward with the application of this science.

Kinda like that fat-free no-calorie pseudo-fat that came out a few years back, caused all kinds of health problems.

It's the same ol' strategy. No test; no proof.

Buyer beware. ...Too bad so many people still think the government is here to protect them.

posted on Apr, 14 2009 @ 04:12 PM
reply to post by kozmo

Thanks for this post loam, i just saw it on news, panicked and thought i bet ATS has more info me

It appears the new sunscreen I bought and religiuolsy applied to me skind daily to protect it from the fat whole in the ozone layer we have above us down under trying to avoid skin in fact loaded with them.

posted on Jan, 5 2010 @ 05:26 AM
Interesting article Loam and another Pandora's box has been opened.

Nano particles can traverse the blood brain barrier, which could cause brain damage. I'd say they are on the same level as modern chemical compounds in regards to threats vs. benefits. Although self replicating nanobodies reminds me of the grey goo theory.

Nanoparticles could damage DNA at a distance, study suggests Guardian
Nanoparticles used in common household items cause genetic damage in mice UCLA

Humanity still sees destruction as a means and I expect nanotechnology will be used in this endeavor also.

[edit on 5-1-2010 by Regenmacher]

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