While one of Australia’s Green factions echo the call “to ban the sale of products containing nanomaterials until regulations are implemented” the BBC reveals yet another nanotech health hazard – lunar dust.
In common with a number of naturally occurring materials, lunar dust contains particles of a variety of sizes, some of them deeply sub micron.
“They determined that most of the fine particles in lunar dust are composed of glass formed through the impact of micrometeorites on the surface of the Moon. But the glass also contains metallic iron grains, much like that in a carpenter’s nail and measuring just 10-20 nanometres in size.
These grains, called “nano-phase iron”, are so small that, if inhaled, some would pass directly from the lungs into the blood circulation.
Once in the blood, the iron could “de-energise” the haemoglobin molecule which carries oxygen to the body’s tissues. If enough gets dissolved in the blood, it could produce effects similar to carbon monoxide poisoning.
However, exactly how much is required for this to happen remains an open question.”
However there is an upside to the story as the coupling effect between microwaves and the nano-phase iron in the dust allows the dust to be transformed into a glassy material simply by zapping it.