Researchers from BASF recently carried out a short-term inhalation study on 13 metal oxide nanomaterials, and as a result grouped them on the basis of their toxicological potential. In their conclusion the team suggested that ‘it is increasingly being recognized that it is not possible to relate biological effects elicited by nanomaterials to one single material property’ – therefore other forms of grouping, such as through the results of safety assessments, ‘might be more relevant in predicting nanomaterial effects’.
The nanomaterials were inhaled and found in the lungs, in the alveolar macrophages, and in the draining lymph nodes of the test subjects; in the case of polyacrylate-coated silica, materials were found in the spleen, while both forms of zinc oxide used elicited olfactory epithelium necrosis. Eight of the nanomaterials tested ‘did not elicit pulmonary effects’, while the other five did (depending on their concentration) – however, ‘most effects were at least partially reversible during the post-exposure period’.
Results indicated that the 13 nanomaterials could be ranked into three grades: lower, medium and higher toxic potency. Of the 13 tested, only four nanomaterials registered as higher toxic potency, whilst 8 were considered lower.
Follow this link to read the full study.