Hype vs Hype

There are a number of areas of concern when it comes to nanomaterials, all of which need to be addressed in a balanced manner, something highlighted in a recent report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

On the other hand, articles such as this one in the UKs Independent seem to balance hype with hype and should come with an “Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here” warning. A typical example is:

“Cancer cells could be destroyed by tiny silicon combs; “nanobots” could clear blocked blood vessels. Hydrogen-based fuel cells using “nanotubes” could allow cars to travel 5,000 miles on a full tank. Minute solar cells in building façades and on road surfaces would produce cheap energy.”

Given that the report author is so obviously out of touch with current science and technology, it is safe to treat statements such as “each type of nanoparticle may be as deadly as asbestos” with similar caution.

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Comments 2

  1. Jacob Zabicky

    Hydo-NM-Oxide sounds like Factor-X or Mister-Clean or Magic-Wand. Fine with me if people buy it. But why doesn’t a component claimed to be 70% of the coating appear among the list of constituents in the MSDS? Only two organic components apear there, but the one capable of inducing respiratory track iritation or worse conditions as inhalated solid nano-particles is not mentioned there? Another mising component in the MSDS is the anti-UV additive claimed to be there in the FAQ about Nansulate.

    Can somebody clarify these points?

    Thanks in advance for your fine attention.

  2. INTK Shareholder

    Jacob, I’ll try to help. The particle is not “nano” in size, it’s micron in size. The inner makeup of the particle is nanotech in nature (a catecomb/maze of sorts within that overall micron size particle). Micron is much larger than “nano”. Not sure if that helps you with your question, though.

    The specs on Hydro NM Oxide can be found in the patent:

    http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&d=PTXT&S1=7144522&OS=7144522&RS=7144522

    About the UV question, I’m less sure of that. But I’m not so sure it’s an ‘additive’ at all. It may just be more of a lucky combination of the water based acrylic resin carrier plus the particulate which ends up blocking most of the UV wavelength. Maybe the way glass filters some UV naturally as well? If you’d like to see a wavelength transmission lab test, there is one on the nansulate.com website (look on the Greenhouse page and you’ll see the lab cert).

    Hope that helps some.

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