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 faÃ§ades 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.