New Research Raises Concerns Over Nanomaterial Safety

Study Reveals Shape Of Fibres ‘Is Similar To Asbestos’


Industrial disease experts at Irwin Mitchell are calling for more research to be carried out in to the potential risks of nanomaterials, after new research raised concerns that the fibres could cause similar illnesses to asbestos.

The study, published in Toxicology Sciences, found that some nanotechnology is very similar in shape to asbestos fibres which cause mesothelioma and tested the impact of the materials on the lungs of mice.

It was found that longer fibres were capable of causing inflammation in the lungs, while smaller ones could be cleared. Scientists involved in the work have revealed their hopes that the study will ensure that safe versions of nanofibres, which are used in the manufacture of goods including tennis rackets, can be created.

Reports of the study have come after research by the Institut de Veille Sanitaire in France highlighted that there was a need for more information to be gathered in relation to the potential risks of nanomaterials.

Irwin Mitchell’s industrial illness team have vast expertise of helping people gain justice over conditions they have developed following exposure to dangerous materials at work, including sufferers of asbestos-related disease.

Mark Allen, a lawyer who specialises in such workplace illness claims at the firm, said: “This new research is just the latest to highlight potential dangers related to nanotechnology and the need for more investigation to be carried out about the risks such fibres could pose.

“It is a clear concern that similarities between nanomaterials and asbestos fibres have been noted, particularly considering the long and terrible legacy that the latter has had on so many lives over the years.

“We hope that this research can be used as jumping-off point to further investigation and research to get to the bottom of this issue and ensure that the safety of workers and the general public as a whole is a top priority.”