Nanotoxicology: A Threat to the Environment and to Human Beings

  • D. Dutta MajumderEmail author
  • Sankar Karan
  • A. Goswami
  • N Banerjee
Conference paper


Nanotechnology research and development is directed towards the understanding and control of matter at dimension of roughly 1–100 nm. At this size, the physical, chemical, and biological properties of materials differ in fundamental and potentially useful ways from the properties of individual’s atoms and molecules. Its applications advanced very quickly while very little has been done to measure and assess the risks of nanoparticles (NPs) to biological systems and to the ecosystems. In the year 2000, the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) was formed to ensure public confidence in the field of nanotechnology research, engineering and manufacturing of nanoscale product. In this chapter, we present different kind of nanotoxicology studies to examine the environment and health risks associated with nanoparticles exposure. We also point the penetration of nanoparticles into human body via various routes and interact with the system with their toxic properties that depends on surface chemistry, particle size, surface charge, and surface area. Nanoparticles of oxides like Sio2 produced and characterised in our laboratory were tested against insect’s pests and pathogens. Nano silica against insect pests shows nearly 100% mortality.


Nanotechnology Risk assessment Capped nanoparticles Nanotoxicology Environmental risk and hazards Occupational safety Environmental risk management 



We are thankful particularly to all engineers and staff of Institute of Cybernetics Systems and Information Technology (ICSIT), all our colleagues at the Biological Science Division, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, ECSU, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, and Department of Radiophysics and Electronics, Calcutta University, Kolkata.


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Copyright information

© Springer India 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Dutta Majumder
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Sankar Karan
    • 2
    • 3
  • A. Goswami
    • 4
  • N Banerjee
    • 5
  1. 1.ECSU, Indian Statistical InstituteKolkataIndia
  2. 2.Institute of Cybernetics Systems and Information TechnologyKolkataIndia
  3. 3.Institute of Radiophysics and ElectronicsKolkataIndia
  4. 4.Biological Science DivisionISIKolkataIndia
  5. 5.Department of Health and Family WelfareSastha BhawanKolkataIndia

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