Monday, February 02, 2004



"Scientists have known for years that tiny particles such as soot or metal powders can, when inhaled, cause lung disease, cancer and other ailments. But the laws of chemistry and physics work differently when particles get down to the nanoscale. As a result, even substances that are normally innocuous can trigger intense chemical reactions -- and biological damage -- as nanoscale specks.

"Last summer... under contract to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Utah-based Sequoia Pacific Research Co. sprayed a proprietary 'nanostructured solution' on 1,400 acres in New Mexico to try to stabilize the soil after forest fires destroyed the local vegetation. Company officials will not reveal the ingredients in their product, saying only that it does not contain engineered nanoparticles. It works, they said, by triggering cross-reactions among naturally occurring nanoparticles in the soil.

"But activists are upset that what appears to have been the world's largest environmental release of a product designed to operate on the nanoscale occurred without federal review or impact studies."

Just what we need: invisible technology.

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