Issue Date: February 7, 2011
Characterizing Inhaled Nanoparticles
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has published guidelines to help ensure that toxicity testing of inhaled nanoparticles is reliable and harmonized around the world. The new standard, ISO 10808, establishes a battery of tests for characterizing nanoparticles in inhalation chambers. The tests determine particle number, size, size distribution, surface area, and estimated mass dose, as well as morphological properties and chemical composition. “Traditional methods used in other areas are considered insufficient for testing nanoparticles since parameters specific to them, like particle surface area or number, might be crucial determinants of toxicity,” says Peter Hatto, chairman of the committee that developed the standard. The growth of nanotechnology in sectors such as food, cosmetics, electronics, and medicine has led to increasing concerns about the potential environmental, health, and safety risks of nanoparticles.
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