Nanoparticles in diesel cause liver damage?

Nanotechnology that increases diesel efficiency and reduces particulate emissions is under attack.

From a Marshall University press release:

Recent studies conducted at Marshall University have demonstrated that nanoparticles of cerium oxide — common diesel fuel additives used to increase the fuel efficiency of automobile engines — can travel from the lungs to the liver and that this process is associated with liver damage.

The data in the study by Dr. Eric R. Blough and his colleagues at Marshall’s Center for Diagnostic Nanosystems indicate there is a dose-dependent increase in the concentration of cerium in the liver of animals that had been exposed to the nanoparticles, which are only about 1/40,000 times as large as the width of a human hair. These increases in cerium were associated with elevations of liver enzymes in the blood and histological evidence consistent with liver damage. The research was published in the October 13 issue of the peer-reviewed research journal International Journal of Nanomedicine.

This study is a nonstarter. Injecting a high dose of substance directly into the lung of a rat to demonstrate (subclinical) toxicity is axiomatic junk science.

Click for the study.

Click for a toxicology profile of cerium oxide.

One thought on “Nanoparticles in diesel cause liver damage?”

  1. When I see phrases such as “associated with” and “consistent with” that are unaccompanied by stronger assertions, I sense that even the researchers aren’t comfortable suggesting much of a correlation.

    I read the toxicology profile (admitting that I’m not particularly literate in this field) and found the results to be rather uncertain as far as being a genuine hazard. Next time, perhaps, I should use arsenic as a head-to-head comparison.

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