HEALTH AND SAFETY

» Drug, Devices, and Supplements

» Physician Accountability

» Consumer Product Safety

» Worker Safety

» Health Care Delivery

» Auto and Truck Safety

» Global Access to Medicines

» Infant Formula Marketing

 

More Public Citizen Information on Nanotechnology

Letter Regarding the Potential Toxicities of Nanotechnology

Small and Dangerous


This letter appeared in The Washington Post on February 5, 2005, p. A18

Rick Weiss highlighted the exciting medical potential of nanotechnology ["Nanomedicine's Promise Is Anything but Tiny," news story, Jan. 31], but only briefly mentions nanomedicine's potential toxicities.

In preliminary studies, carbon nanotubes have been shown to cause lung inflammation in animals and cell damage in cultured human skin cells. Another study showed that fullerenes, which are nanoscale molecules with great potential as drug-delivery devices because they can pass the body's defense barriers, can cross into the nervous system of fish and damage their brain cells. The Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering recently concluded that "factories and research laboratories [should] treat manufactured nanoparticles and nanotubes as if they were hazardous."

It is important that safety concerns go hand in hand with the justified enthusiasm for nanomedicine's potential.

Nicholas Stine
Research Associate

Peter Lurie, M.D., M.P.H.
Deputy Director
Public Citizen's Health Research Group
Washington

Copyright © 2014 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.


Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation

 

Together, two separate corporate entities called Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation, Inc., form Public Citizen. Both entities are part of the same overall organization, and this Web site refers to the two organizations collectively as Public Citizen.

Although the work of the two components overlaps, some activities are done by one component and not the other. The primary distinction is with respect to lobbying activity. Public Citizen, Inc., an IRS § 501(c)(4) entity, lobbies Congress to advance Public Citizen’s mission of protecting public health and safety, advancing government transparency, and urging corporate accountability. Public Citizen Foundation, however, is an IRS § 501(c)(3) organization. Accordingly, its ability to engage in lobbying is limited by federal law, but it may receive donations that are tax-deductible by the contributor. Public Citizen Inc. does most of the lobbying activity discussed on the Public Citizen Web site. Public Citizen Foundation performs most of the litigation and education activities discussed on the Web site.

You may make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., Public Citizen Foundation, or both. Contributions to both organizations are used to support our public interest work. However, each Public Citizen component will use only the funds contributed directly to it to carry out the activities it conducts as part of Public Citizen’s mission. Only gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible. Individuals who want to join Public Citizen should make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., which will not be tax deductible.

 

To become a member of Public Citizen, click here.
To become a member and make an additional tax-deductible donation to Public Citizen Foundation, click here.