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DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT ARTICLE: http://pubs.acs.org/stoken/presspac/presspac/full/10.1021/es8015556
Stuart E. Strand, Ph.D.
University of Washington
Seattle, Washington 98195
ARTICLE #4 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Quantum dots may be toxic to cells, environment under certain conditions
Environmental Science & Technology
Researchers in Texas are reporting that quantum dots (QDs) a product of the revolution in nanotechnology increasingly used in electronics, solar cells, and medical imaging devices may be toxic to cells under acidic or alkaline conditions. Their study, the first to report on how different pH levels may affect the safety of QDs, appears in the Jan.15 issue of ACS' Environmental Science & Technology, a semi-monthly journal.
In the new study, Pedro Alvarez, Shaily Mahendra, and colleagues note that QDs are semiconductor nanocrystals composed of a metal core surrounded by a shell composed of zinc or cadmium sulfide.
Scientists are increasingly concerned that these submicroscopic dots, about 1/50,000th the width of a human hair, could decompose during normal use or after disposal. That decomposition could release toxic metals into the environment, posing a health risk to humans and animals.
To explore this concern, the s
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American Chemical Society