ToxTests

According to C|Net, “tests for Nanotoxicology are coming later this month” thanks to the snappily titled Nanomaterial Toxicity Screening Working Group of the International Life Sciences Institute Research Foundation/Risk Science Institute, or ILSI RF/RSI for short!

However, don’t expect a nanotox test to be available as widely as for example a pregnancy testing kit. The issue here is more related to standards rather than the tests.

Over the past few years, the need for standards in toxicology have been highlighted by numerous studies on, for example, carbon nanotubes, giving widely conflicting results. What we do know is that if we stuff a rat absolutely full of carbon nanotubes it will tend to drop dead, but perhaps it would exhibit a similar reaction to large quantities of soot.

What is clearly needed is some kind of standard that would allow researchers around the world to compare results and draw meaningful conclusions. However, with the number of similar initiatives ongoing, we may wind up as far from a standard toxicology test as we are from a single type of electrical plug.

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