Nanotechnology is the manipulation tiny particles to alter materials by rearranging and reengineering them. These materials incorporation range from household detergent, self-warming leggings to possibly being implemented into medications. Nanotechnology today is the reason we have odor controlling clothes, bacteria defensive cutting boards, and other anti bacterial detergents. This is due to silver nanoparticles incorporated into those substances.
Not only is nanotechnology helpful for everyday materials, they may be the answer to better treatment for cancer and other diseases. A cancer treatment center in California uses carbon nanotubes to deliver chemotherapy to brain tumor patients. If this can prove to be a more effect way to deliver treatment it is possible that it will better prognosis for patients with advanced stages of cancer. It might also be possible to engineer cancer specific nanoparticles that can latch on, attack and destroy only cancer cells in the body. It seems that with nanotechnology the possibilities can be endless.
Nanoparticles may enhance the performance of household items, present a new look into creating medications and at the same time be harmful to our health. The major issue with nanotechnology is the lack of information on long-term health. These particles are so small that they can pass through the blood-brain barrier, which means in addition to possibly attacking a particular disease it can also deposit unhealthy material into the bloodstream and other parts of the body. In addition to possibly pollution the body it is small enough that it can and has most likely been released into the environment.
Society does not have the current technology to measure the short term and long term effects of these particles in our food, water and air supply. In addition to a lack of research of effects there are no standards set for testing, disposing and releasing these particles. Even though nanotechnology can open a world of endless possibilities, it is also possible that it can be the beginning of the end for mankind. History repeats itself frequently. Humans seem to run with an idea before fully testing to see if there are more harmful effects. An example of this is insecticides. Insecticides rid the food from pesky insects, but we also eat it, it’s in our air supply, and in the environment causing illness. Let’s hope that nanotechnology does more good than harm in the long run. Sadly the only way will know is if and when people or animals become sick and this sickness can no longer be kept from the public eye.
For more information on nano technology please visit the links below. In a future publication I will explore the possible side effects of nanotechnology to the human body in detail.