Nature Nanotechnology has published an article entitled “Banning carbon nanotubes would be scientifically unjustified and damaging to innovation”, in response to the inclusion of carbon nanotubes in the SIN (“Substitute It Now”) List created by the Swedish non-profit organisation ChemSec. The publication points out that the ChemSec general statements on banning or restricting the use of all forms of carbon nanotubes, based on limited evidence, are likely to hamper innovation and confuse the public. The publication also highlights that results showing no toxic effect are generally not published, since they seem to lack novelty: this translates to a biased view on the subject, leading to a negative public perception. The publication also acknowledges the multiple beneficial uses of carbon nanotubes in the biomedical field, and stresses how both the REACH regulation in Europe and the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in the US are strictly followed by the nanotechnology industry. The publication also notes how, in some cases, a given nanomaterial may represent a threat if inhaled, but can be used as a medical solution when applied intravenously. Standards relating to material and biological characterization, and adaptations to testing protocols, are also under way in a variety of European and world-wide efforts to facilitate data extrapolation. Nanomaterials represent an almost infinite group of substances which cannot be grouped lightly to draw conclusions on their potential toxicity. The publication calls on ChemSec to modify the record of carbon nanotubes in the SIN List, to remove the broad claims of toxicity for this entire material class, and to delineate the specific materials for which data actually exist. 

The full article can be accessed at this link (external website, paywall).