Nanotechnology Project


Tuning in to Carbon Nanotube Safety

Radio programs highlight recent study

Dr. Andrew MaynardWashington, DC — For several days last week, newspapers across the country and around the world featured headlines like “Nanotechnology cancer risk found” and “Nanotubes as deadly as asbestos.” These stories reported on a new research study recently published in Nature Nanotechnology that suggests some forms of carbon nanotubes could be as harmful as asbestos if inhaled in sufficient quantities.

Two prominent National Public Radio programs – “Science Friday” and “The Kojo Nnamdi Show” - enabled American listeners to get behind the headlines and question one of the study’s authors, Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies chief science advisor Andrew Maynard. Are workers and consumers being exposed to carbon nanotubes—an exciting new material that’s part of the nanotechnology revolution and currently being used to lighten and strengthen everything from tennis rackets to automobile bodies? If so, are there risks? What does the research tell the public and scientists?

Hear what experts and listeners say about nanotube safety:

  • “Science Friday” : Listen

  • “The Kojo Nnamdi Show” : Listen