BEIJING, Jan. 14 (Xinhuanet) -- American scientists said recently the application of nanotechnology could affect human health as nanometer scale particles can easily penetrate the human body and may cause diseases. Meanwhile Chinese scientists say this negative aspect of nanotechnology should not be
Several years ago, the terms "nanometer",
"nanoscience" and "nanomaterial" sounded quite strange to ordinary people in
China. Nowadays, you can easily pick up such words from the radio, TV,
newspapers and even the chat of pensioners and children.
When people begin to enjoy the advantages brought about by nanotechnology,
such as new cosmetics and textiles, a laboratory test carried out by American
scientists gave a "yellow light" to nano research. The test showed nano
particles can enter animal brains along with brain cells and remain there.
Dr. Jiang Lei, with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has been engaged in
the research of nanotechnology for years. He says the test result is one-sided.
"Nano particles do exist and can easily penetrate into the respiratory
tract and skin of human beings. But there is also a question of quantity. How
many such particles could affect human health? At the present no scientists
anywhere are able to answer this."
Dr. Jiang Lei also tells us how to protect ourselves in nano research.
"In the course of research, we can try our best to avoid the presence of
nano-scale objects in particle form. However in the liquid or solid states they
are unable to penetrate human bodies."
In addition, as Dr. Jiang Lei says, scientists can take other measures such
as wearing protective clothing and masks when undertaking nanotechnology
As for the nano-products, scientists say those now on the Chinese market
have all passed the relevant quality examinations. They should not present
threats to human health, so people needn't worry too much about that.
Nevertheless, scientists also note scientific advances are often double
edged swords. Nanotechnology is no exception. The security problems associated
with nano research should not be neglected either.