Nanotubes: The Next Asbestos?

Science  14 Aug 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5379, pp. 941
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5379.941

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There is potentially one very big fly in the ointment of nanotubes' potential for use in molecular-scale electronic devices: toxicity. Nanotubes are rigid graphite cylinders, each just one or more nanometers wide and up to 100 micrometers long--and they resemble the shape of asbestos fibers that have been linked to cancer. Until potential health hazards have been evaluated, investigators are treating nanotubes with caution.