Carbon Nanotubes and Safety

Classification of Carbon Nanotubes, Size Effects and Potential Toxicity of the High-Aspect Ratio Nanotubes


This chapter reviews geometry of different classes of carbon nanotubes and examines similarities between carbon nanotubes and asbestos fibers. Geometric parameters of carbon nanotubes are characterized by the aspect ratios and other critical scaling parameters related to the inhalability of carbon nanotubes and their engulfment by macrophages in phagocytosis. Geometric and scaling parameters are used to present a conceptual framework and a parametric map for the extrapolation of potential toxic effects resulting from the inhalation of carbon nanotubes. Similarities between carbon nanotubes and asbestos fibers are also examined by using the Cook’s criteria for the asbestos-like pathologies that can be also caused by microscopic fibers. Scaling parameters for the size effects associated with carbon nanotubes and a new parametric map for the efficiency of phagocytosis are used to evaluate the potential toxicological effects of the inhaled carbon nanotubes from the point of view of the Cook’s criteria for asbestos fibers and other research.


Carbon Nanotubes High Aspect Ratio Asbestos Fiber Nanoscale Particle Potential Toxic Effect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research has been supported in part by the Nanotech Safety Program at Nanodesigns Consulting (, which encourages all researchers to allocate at least 5 % of the research funding for ensuring and improving the safety of nanotechnology in their area of research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nanodesigns ConsultingWilmingtonUSA

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