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Nanohazard
 
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   “Nanotechnology, the manipulation of matter at the tiny level of atoms and molecules, has created a new class of materials with unusual properties and new toxicities.
   “It used to be that nanotechnology was the stuff of science fiction. (((Yo!)))
   ” Today, however, there are over one thousand nanotechnology companies worldwide. Nanoparticles, nanotubes and other engineered nanomaterials are already in use in hundreds of everyday consumer products, raising significant health, safety and environmental concerns.
   Nanoparticles are able to move around the body and the environment more readily than larger particles of pollution. Because of their extremely small size and large surface area nanoparticles may be more reactive and more toxic than larger particles of the same substance. They have been compared to asbestos by leading insurance companies who worry their health impact could lead to massive claims.
    At least one US-based insurance company has canceled coverage of small companies involved with nanotechnology. Unlike more familiar forms of pollution arising from new technologies, nano-hazards (potentially endangering consumers, workers and the environment) have yet to be fully characterized, regulated or even subject to safety testing. The US Food and Drug Administration will have its first public meeting about regulating nanomaterials on October 10, 2006. Most governments worldwide have yet to even begin thinking about nano-regulation. Nonetheless, nanoparticles invisible to the naked eye are already in foods, cosmetics, pesticides and clothing without even being labelled. Every day laboratory and factory workers could be inhaling and ingesting nanoparticles while the rest of us may be unwittingly putting them on our skin, in our body or in the environment
 
 
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