Nanotoxicity: challenging the myth of nano-specific toxicity

Ken Donaldson*, Craig A. Poland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The analysis of nanoparticle (NP) hazard is currently a major research pre-occupation for particle toxicologists since there is a pressing requirement for a comprehensive understanding of nanoparticle hazard because of the wide spectrum of NP varying in composition, shape and size that require testing for risk assessment. The Biologically Effective Doses (BEDs) of nanoparticles, the dose entity that drives toxicity include charge, solubility, contaminants, shape and the ability to translocate from the site of deposition in the lungs. We point out here that all of these modes of toxicity are relevant and described for conventional pathogenic particles. There is no evidence that particles below 100 nm, the threshold definition of a NP, show any step-change in their hazard meaning that there is no evidence of novel 'nano-specific hazard'. Therefore conventional particle toxicology data are useful and relevant to the determination of the nanoparticle hazard. Emphasis away from 'nano-specific effects' and the availability of hazard data from conventional particles will focus limited resource towards a full understanding of the NP hazard. This will lead to improved ability to identify and test for their effects and measure their toxicokinetics and so contribute to their risk assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)724-734
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent opinion in biotechnology
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • SOLUBLE TRANSITION-METALS
  • WALLED CARBON NANOTUBES
  • PARTICLE SURFACE-AREA
  • IN-VITRO
  • PARIETAL PLEURA
  • PULMONARY INFLAMMATION
  • PERITONEAL-CAVITY
  • ASBESTOS TOXICITY
  • EPITHELIAL-CELLS
  • COAL-WORKERS

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