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Nanotoxicity: challenging the myth of nano-specific toxicity
Link to Journal Abstract
The analysis of nanoparticle (NP) hazard is currently a major research pre-occupation for particle toxicologists since there is a pressing requirement for a comprehensive understanding of nanoparticle hazard because of the wide spectrum of NP varying in composition, shape and size that require testing for risk assessment. The Biologically Effective Doses (BEDs) of nanoparticles, the dose entity that drives toxicity include charge, solubility, contaminants, shape and the ability to translocate from the site of deposition in the lungs. We point out here that all of these modes of toxicity are relevant and described for conventional pathogenic particles. There is no evidence that particles below 100 nm, the threshold definition of a NP, show any step-change in their hazard meaning that there is no evidence of novel ‘nano-specific hazard’. Therefore conventional particle toxicology data are useful and relevant to the determination of the nanoparticle hazard. Emphasis away from ‘nano-specific effects’ and the availability of hazard data from conventional particles will focus limited resource towards a full understanding of the NP hazard. This will lead to improved ability to identify and test for their effects and measure their toxicokinetics and so contribute to their risk assessment.
The authors point out in this paper that many modes of toxicity are that are relevant (including charge, solubility, contaminants, shape and the ability to translocate from the site of deposition in the lungs) are described for conventional pathogenic particles and there is no evidence that particles below 100 nm, the threshold definition of a nanoparticle (NP), show any step-change in their hazard meaning that there is no evidence of novel 'nano-specific hazard'. Therefore conventional particle toxicology data are useful and relevant to the determination of the nanoparticle hazard.
Peer Reviewed Journal Article
Exposure Or Hazard Target
Method Of Study
Risk Exposure Group
Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 24(4): 724-734 (August 2013)
Current Opinion in Biotechnology
Donaldson K, Poland CA
Last updated on September 20, 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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