Are Nanoparticles Safe to Use in Manufacturing and In End Products?

Concerns are mounting among the general public and the scientific community about the safety of nano-materials. The overall consensus is that more research must be done to determine the safety and possible risks associated with these materials.

Though most studies have been inconclusive, the fact remains that some nanoparticles can easily pass through cellular walls and even through the blood-brain barrier. Some nanoparticles have even been shown to have an antibiotic effect. Knowing that many bacteria are helpful and necessary for our bodies to function properly, would it not be wise to keep such a potentially damaging agent from being introduced into our environment?

So why use nanoparticles in the first place? Nanoparticles are highly conductive and can replace expensive materials, such as precious metals, in a wide range of products. The very same aspects of nanoparticle technology that make it potentially harmful, such as the aforementioned ability to permeate the blood-brain barrier or to destroy specific cells, make nanoparticles a potential tool for the delivery of drugs. Nano-tech could be put to use in the future for such things as pollution monitoring, better energy storage techniques and in the reduction of otherwise harmful chemicals to name just a few of its potential applications. But again, there is the possibility of significant negative human health consequences.

In light of these health concerns, the European Union has taken the lead in regulating the use of nanoparticles and exploring their potential detrimental effects. Many large electronics manufacturers are questioning their use of these materials internally and have set extensive internal reviews to evaluate the use of these types of products internally, with the thought that, eventually, they may need to limit their usage.

However in other parts of the world, like Asia, companies still include nanoparticles in their products, and some larger companies here in the U.S. are continuing to distribute these nanoparticle containing products. There are, however, other American companies that are working to provide competitive products that are made with completely safe materials and achieve similar or same properties as the nanoparticle containing products.

As a trusted supplier of top quality electromagnetic shielding, at this time, Vanguard Products has made the decision to manufacture shielding products without the use of these nanoparticles. There is still just too much uncertainty with respect to the safety of these products both from a manufacturing sense within our factory, and the safety to our valued customers and, for that matter, their customers.  We are a full service manufacturing and engineering company, providing industry with incredibly precise elastomeric fabricated goods who is constantly evaluating new materials and processes while keeping in mind that safety truly is the most important attribute of a product. For more information about our design, development, and manufacturing services, visit us at vanguardproducts.com.

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