What are nanoparticles?Nanoparticles are small particles with dimensions in the order of nanometers. They can exist as a powder, or they can be suspended in air or liquids. Airborne particles smaller than about 10 µm can penetrate into the respiratory system and cause damage to the human body. The smaller particles are, the deeper they can penetrate into the lung. Particles smaller than 100 nm are said to be ultrafine particles.
Where do they come from?The sources of particulate matter can either be natural (e.g. volcanic eruptions, forest fires, sea spray) or anthropogenic (e.g. combustion, industrial processes, road dust). Many industrially generated nanoparticles (titanium dioxide, carbon black, carbon nanotubes etc.) are in ultrafine size range.
What are the health effects?According to current knowledge, particles smaller than 100 nm are taken up in the lungs, and are able to diffuse into the blood stream and can thereby be distributed to the whole body including our brain. Source: BAFU
The most common diseases related to nanoparticles are asthma, lung and heart diseases.