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Thousands of new particles in workplaces despite large knowledge gap
Date:12/3/2013

This news release is available in French.

In a growing number of industries, workers are often unknowingly exposed to nanoparticles (NPs). Do they enter the body? Could they have an impact on health? Professor Denis Girard from the INRSInstitut Armand-Frappier Research Centre has had the foresight to study the potential toxicity of a wide variety of NPs with a view to setting the record straight before problems occur. His research is being funded by Institut de recherche Robert-Sauv en sant et en scurit du travail (IRSST), which will award him a renewable $300,000 grant for the next three years. Professor Girard will focus on the effects of NPs on human immune system cells (eosinophils) that play a key role in inflammation.

"Several studies on NPs have examined how tissues react in contact with these tiny foreign bodies," said Girard. "Researchers have found that eosinophils flock to the contact site, but they have not examined the phenomenon in greater detail." To further investigate why eosinophils come into contact with NPs and the role they play, protocols require expertise in both nanotoxicology and immunology, which is rare.

The immunology professor has this expertise, as he has already studied the effects of NPs on other human immune cells (neutrophils) as part of a complementary project. His team is working to establish an NP inflammatory scale. "In this research protocol, I get my colleagues at the Centre involved in a very special waythey agree to give blood!" said Girard. "By collecting blood, we can also collect eosinophils for the new research component."

According to Professor Girard, understanding the inflammatory response is currently a priority in the field of nanotoxicology. For a number of years, researchers have been observing links b
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Contact: Stephanie Thibault
stephanie@scible.ca
514-381-2183
INRS
Source:Eurekalert

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