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Exposure to Nanoparticles Is Related to Pleural Effusion, Pulmonary Fibrosis and Granuloma

ABSTRACT (click the link above to access a PDF of the whole article):

Nano materials generate great benefits as well as new potentialrisks. Animal studies and in vitro experiments show that nanoparticles can result in lung damage and other toxicity, butno reports on the clinical toxicity in humans due to nano particleshave yet been made.

The study aims to examine the relationshipbetween a group of workers' mysterious symptomatic findingsand their nano particle exposure.

Seven young female workers(18–47 years), exposed to nano particles for 5–13months, all with shortness of breath and pleural effusions,were admitted to the hospital. Immunologic tests, examinationsof bacteriology, virology and tumour markers, bronchoscope,internal thoracoscopy, and video-assisted thoracic surgery wereperformed. Survey of the workplace, clinical observations andexaminations on patients were conducted.

Polyacrylate, consistingof nano particles, was confirmed in the workplace. Pathologicalexaminations of patients' lung tissue displayed non-specificpulmonary inflammation, pulmonary fibrosis and foreign-bodygranulomas of pleura. By transmission electron microscopy, nanoparticles were observed to lodge in the cytoplasm and caryoplasmof pulmonary epithelial and mesothelial cells, but also locatein the chest fluid. These cases arouse concern that long-termexposure to some nano particles without protective measuresmay be related to serious damage to human lungs.