BAuA Tender F 2376

The German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) intends to a public contract to investigate the toxicity mechanisms of carbon nanotubes (Project F 2376).


This project focuses on the toxic effects of fibrous nanocarbons. The effects of these materials are dependent on physical aspects. First, fibrous nanocarbon materials have to be discriminated from granular nanocarbons. For nanocarbon fibres, it has to be discriminated between rigid and tangled fibres. For rigid respirable carbon nanofibers it has to be assumed that they act asbestos-like. It is currently not clear, how flexible a fibre has to be to lose its asbestos-like action. This issue shall be investigated in this project by testing selected multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT). The rigidity of MWCNT is dependent on fibre diameter. Average MWCNT diameters of at least 37 nm proved to be carcinogenic after intraperitoneal application. For average MWCNT diameters of maximally 10-15 nm, a carcinogenic action after intraperitoneal application could not be shown. However, it is possible that certain MWCNT with average diameters below 15 nm form agglomerates in critical, i.e. WHO dimension, and could thus be carcinogenic.


This project aims to carrying out carcinogenicity assays after intraperitoneal application using four to five MWCNT materials. The aim is to test materials in average diameters ranging from 15-35 nm. These materials will be chosen by the project sponsor. It will be aimed at identifying the diameter below which MWCNT do not act asbestos-like any more........


Project duration: 36 month

Place of delivery: Dortmund, Germany




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