Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The nano fear mongering continues

This technocrat.net website is doing it again, my favorite thing to hate. Fear mongering. "Untested nanoparticles are gonna kill us all, run for the hills!!!!"

And of course they just can't get over the asbestos comparison. As if there is no other particle to be inhaled. Ugg, the worst part is they use the name "technocrat" and then they're dumb enough to describe asbestos as a nanoparticle. Asbestos, a particulate which can easily be seen by the unaided human eye and which a 12 cent paper mask will keep you from inhaling. If that is nano then so is flour, sugar, salt, hell just about anything small.

The worst damage done by these sorts of articles isn't just the unjustified fear or the stolen ad revenue they generate with spurious panic, it's the wholesale misleading of people into a distorted worldview wherein everything small is to be feared as being "just like the deadly asbestos!" Animals on earth have been inhaling nanoparticles for millions if not billions of years. Yes, these are a new type of nanoparticle but there is nothing to say they will be any more or less harmful than those which arise naturally. Like just about anything what will count most will be dosage. How much do you inhale, absorb or ingest. A single asbestos fiber inhaled will not automatically lead to lung cancer and neither is it likely that the relatively tiny amounts of nanoparticles (most of which are bound in a liquid, gel, or solid of some sort) will automatically lead to a horrible fate for all concerned.

This is the 21st century folks, we are a tad bit smarter than we were when asbestos came out.



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