Engineering Materials

Just How Toxic Are Carbon Nanotubes?

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Re: life cycle concerns
Tim   11/29/2012 12:44:52 PM
Good article explaining the detection method for CNT's in soil. Are there toxicity concerns for CNT's in product? Also, are there concerns with the processing method used to add the CNT's to the base material?

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life cycle concerns
naperlou   11/29/2012 10:50:27 AM
Ann, this is indeed a concern.  Like many of the clever solutions to engineering problems, we have to think of the effect on living organisms, not just humans.  Semiconductor manufacturing also uses many toxic chemicals, for example, and these have to be controlled.  This is true at the point of manufacture and at the point of disposal.  I recall that even the ink used in thermal printers, such as those that are used to print receipts at stores, can be toxic.  We need to be careful in handling exotic, engineered materials.

One question I do have is about the detection method.  Since microwaves are used, I assume that the tests done on earhtworms are destructive.  Soil, even after being exposed to microwaves, is still just soil.  An earthworm on the other hand...

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