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Toxicol Ind Health. 2014 Jul;30(6):499-519. doi: 10.1177/0748233712459900. Epub 2012 Sep 25.

Health hazards associated with nanomaterials.

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Department of Biochemistry, National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, Haryana, India.
Department of Biochemistry, National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, Haryana, India


Nanotechnology is a major scientific and economic growth area and presents a variety of hazards for human health and environment. It is widely believed that engineered nanomaterials will be increasingly used in biomedical applications (as therapeutics and as diagnostic tools). However, before these novel materials can be safely applied in a clinical setting, their toxicity needs to be carefully assessed. Nanoscale materials often behave different from the materials with a larger structure, even when the basic material is same. Many mammals get exposed to these nanomaterials, which can reach almost every cell of the mammalian body, causing the cells to respond against nanoparticles (NPs) resulting in cytotoxicity and/or genotoxicity. The important key to understand the toxicity of nanomaterials is that their minute size, smaller than cellular organelles, allows them to penetrate the basic biological structures, disrupting their normal function. There is a wealth of evidence for the noxious and harmful effects of engineered NPs as well as other nanomaterials. The rapid commercialization of nanotechnology field requires thoughtful, attentive environmental, animal and human health safety research and should be an open discussion for broader societal impacts and urgent toxicological oversight action. While 'nanotoxicity' is a relatively new concept to science, this comprehensive review focuses on the nanomaterials exposure through the skin, respiratory tract, and gastrointestinal tract and their mechanism of toxicity and effect on various organs of the body.


Nanoparticle; nanotubes; oxidative stress; toxicity

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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