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Dermal and ocular irritation and skin sensitization studies of fullerene C(60) nanoparticles
Link to Journal Abstract
Context: Widespread production and use of nanomaterials have caused the release of increasing amounts of nanomaterials into the environment. The introduction of novel materials into industry requires safety evaluations as well as an understanding of the impact of the nanomaterials on human health, because the unique properties and size of nanomaterials may also result in unique health risks. Skin and eyes have the highest risk of exposure to nanomaterials, because deposition to the superficial organs has the potential to be a major route of exposure during the manufacturing, use, and disposal of nanomaterials. However, information on the dermal and eye irritation and sensitization of fullerene C60 nanoparticles is still lacking.
Objectives: This study was performed to examine the potential irritating and sensitizing effects of fullerenes on the skin and eyes. Methods: The dermal and eye irritation study was performed using rabbits according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines 404 and 405, respectively. The skin sensitization study was carried out in accordance to the OECD Guideline 406 using guinea pigs. The concentrations of the fullerenes in the test substances were the maximum allowable for administration. Fullerenes were applied at 50 mg in dermal irritation, 40 mg in skin sensitization, and 100 mg in eye irritation studies. Results: No dermal responses, including erythema/eschar or edema, were found in rabbits treated with fullerenes. No rabbits exhibited corneal opacity, abnormality of the iris, or chemosis eye at any time point after the application of fullerenes. Fullerenes caused conjunctival redness and blood vessel hyperemia at 1 h, but not at 24 h. No erythema or edema was observed after the challenge with fullerenes in the fullerene-treated guinea pigs. Conclusion: Reversible minimal potential for acute irritation of the eyes was induced by fullerenes, but neither irritation nor sensitization was caused on the skin. Although the present study provided initial information on the acute irritation and acute sensitization of highly purified C60 fullerenes, information on the toxicological effects of fullerenes and their derivatives is still limited. Further information is needed to clarify the potential for toxicity given the complex nature of fullerenes and their derivatives.
This study was performed to examine the potential irritating and sensitizing effects of fullerenes on the skin and eyes. The dermal and eye irritation study was performed using rabbits according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines 404 and 405, respectively. The skin sensitization study was carried out in accordance to the OECD Guideline 406 using guinea pigs.
Peer Reviewed Journal Article
Exposure Or Hazard Target
Method Of Study
Risk Exposure Group
Cutaneous and Ocular Toxicology, 2013, 32(2): 128-134
Cutaneous and Ocular Toxicology
Ema M, Matsuda A, Kobayashi N, Naya M, Nakanishi J
Last updated on January 4, 2013
This work is supported in part by the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Initiative of the National Science Foundation
under NSF Award Number EEC-0118007.
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