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J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2003 Oct 24;66(20):1909-26.

Exposure to carbon nanotube material: assessment of nanotube cytotoxicity using human keratinocyte cells.

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Pathology and Physiology Research Branch, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, and Physiology and Pharmacology Department, West Virginia University, Morgantown 26505, USA.


Carbon nanotubes are new members of carbon allotropes similar to fullerenes and graphite. Because of their unique electrical, mechanical, and thermal properties, carbon nanotubes are important for novel applications in the electronics, aerospace, and computer industries. Exposure to graphite and carbon materials has been associated with increased incidence of skin diseases, such as carbon fiber dermatitis, hyperkeratosis, and naevi. We investigated adverse effects of single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) using a cell culture of immortalized human epidermal keratinocytes (HaCaT). After 18 h of exposure of HaCaT to SWCNT, oxidative stress and cellular toxicity were indicated by formation of free radicals, accumulation of peroxidative products, antioxidant depletion, and loss of cell viability. Exposure to SWCNT also resulted in ultrastructural and morphological changes in cultured skin cells. These data indicate that dermal exposure to unrefined SWCNT may lead to dermal toxicity due to accelerated oxidative stress in the skin of exposed workers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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