Most of us, when we think of asbestos, think of the insulation in old buildings up for demolition. But asbestos fibres are naturally occurring minerals, and their natural habitats are deposits that meander all over the country. When wind blows asbestos off the hills, exactly how dangerous is it?
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Graphene might be the latest and greatest hero of the scientific community, but lasers are still awesome and have a new trick up their sleeves to prove it. Researchers at the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom have developed a device that can detect the presence of airborne asbestos particles — a fireproof material now known to cause lung cancers like mesothelioma — using a laser-based detection system.
A new study has found that carbon nanotubes—if inhaled—could be as dangerous as asbestos. This is not only problematic for a future of semiconductors that would like to exploit the technology, but the goods already on the market now that use nanotubes in composite mixtures, like baseball bats and tennis rackets.