D H
May 13 ยท Last update 4 mo. ago.

Should we be worried about nanotechnology?

Nanotechnologies involve the use of atomic or molecular materials for industrial purposes, such materials fall within the range of 1-100 nanometers, smaller than the average size of a bacterial or virus. While nanotech is still in its infancy these tiny materials could have revolutionary potential in fields as wide as medicine, energy storage, and engineering, and could allow scientists to control matter on an atomic scale. However they may also pose a risk to human, animal and environmental health, in a similar way to how microplastics have been found to been so pervasive, invasive, and toxic. Some of the nanomaterials that have presently been synthesised or isolated have already proven to be toxic, such as fullerene, but their wider effects on the environment are still virtually unknown. Do we need to legislate against nanotech before it becomes a new problem on the scale of climate change, asbestos, or micro-plastics? Should we be worried about nanotech?
Stats of Viewpoints
Yes, need to step up regulation already
0 agrees
0 disagrees
No, we should be excited and vigilant
0 agrees
0 disagrees
Viewpoints
Add New Viewpoint

Yes, need to step up regulation already

The main issue with nanotechnologies is their toxicity, while preliminary research has demonstrated that most are toxic to humans in some way, research is lacking and by no means conclusive, much more needs to be done so regulation can be effective and informed. At a basic level, studies have demonstrated that nanomaterials can pierce and enter human cells and that inhalation of nanoparticles can lead to a number of pulmonary diseases in a similar way to asbestos [1]. Other studies have found that nanoparticles damage DNA and chromosomes in a manner that is associated with some of the biggest life threatening diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, neurological disease and ageing [2]. Enough research has been done to outline the dangers that nanotechnology can pose, however the lack of regulation has left most worried that nanomaterials may cause another public health emergency akin to bovine spongiform encephalopathy ("mad cow" disease), thalidomide, nuclear energy, or asbestosis.

[1] ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2322933 [2] aol.com/news?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly9lbi53aWtpcGVkaWEub3JnLw&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAACJT2dilcyorm7KfhQpoymIMLiqtIIaEx-ATyoccN-gdga0mQ2H4Ql1H4GGa1mGYx0SqvPwbbFgllQ9WF7mru5Kc1DjIDIzgd7HtXFGDptCWBLLrGJjDaAz_FcQ7ehSZ6bSUugDCIDUuAelOtc8LeIAnE-yEhNDZgswywbkP5W_k ssoar.info/ssoar/handle/document/22386 web.archive.org/web/20081120154647/http://www.nanotechproject.org/publications/archive/pen13 sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0016328706000565?via%3Dihub

Agree
Disagree
Latest conversation
D H
May 14
Approved
DH edited this paragraph
The main issue with nanotechnologies is their toxicity, while preliminary research has demonstrated that most are toxic to humans in some way, research is lacking and by no means conclusive, much more needs to be done so regulation can be effective and informed. At a basic level, studies have demonstrated that nanomaterials can pierce and enter human cells and that inhalation of nanoparticles can lead to a number of pulmonary diseases in a similar way to asbestos [1]. Other studies have found that nanoparticles damage DNA and chromosomes in a manner that is associated with some of the biggest life threatening diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, neurological disease and ageing [2]. Enough research has been done to outline the dangers that nanotechnology can pose, however the lack of regulation has left most worried that nanomaterials may cause another public health emergency akin to bovine spongiform encephalopathy ("mad cow" disease), thalidomide, nuclear energy, or asbestosis.

No, we should be excited and vigilant

While there are some uncertainties surrounding nanotechnology, just as there would be with any emergent technology, the field is already being regulated. Various nanotechnologies are vastly different, and while we should remain vigilant of the possible dangers that these technologies pose, it is an umbrella term for many technologies that exist on a small scale, from 1 to 100 nanometres. Nanotech already has quite a substantial history, with the scanning tunnelling microscope in 1981, with fullerenes being discovered in 1985, and the discovery of carbon nanotubes in 1991, and various others that have continued to look promising. Nanotech structures could be used to make new light materials, microscopic circuits, scaffolding for bone growth, and developments in semiconductors, electronics, electric batteries, and composites, as well as liposomes for intelligent drug delivery systems.

humanparagon.com/nanotechnology-examples plymouth.ac.uk/research/research-lecture-series-nanotechnology web.archive.org/web/20110429055248/http://www.nanotec.org.uk/finalReport.htm

Agree
Disagree
Latest conversation
D H
May 14
Approved
DH edited this paragraph
While there are some uncertainties surrounding nanotechnology, just as there would be with any emergent technology, the field is already being regulated. Various nanotechnologies are vastly different, and while we should remain vigilant of the possible dangers that these technologies pose, it is an umbrella term for many technologies that exist on a small scale, from 1 to 100 nanometres. Nanotech already has quite a substantial history, with the scanning tunnelling microscope in 1981, with fullerenes being discovered in 1985, and the discovery of carbon nanotubes in 1991, and various others that have continued to look promising. Nanotech structures could be used to make new light materials, microscopic circuits, scaffolding for bone growth, and developments in semiconductors, electronics, electric batteries, and composites, as well as liposomes for intelligent drug delivery systems.
Translate