Nanoparticles may cause death even at low concentrations

Chemical and Engineering News is reporting that researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences have discovered that even very low concentrations of nanoparticles may cause death in roundworms. Roundworms were exposed to 8.5 nanometer cerium dioxide (CeO2) particles at various concentrations. Death rates were significantly affected even at 1 nanomolar nanoparticle concentrations. The story goes on to report that these types of nanoparticles are under consideration for use in eyedrops and sunscreen. This study on cerium dioxide nanoparticles is valuable because it points out the potential for problems with this variety of nanoparticle. However, there is a significant need to determine what it is about these types of nanoparticles that creates the discovered fatal effects so that better regulatory, corporate, and individual decisions can be made.