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May 5, 2017

ACS Publishes Study Finding that Nanoparticles Can Travel from Lungs to Blood, Possibly Explaining Risks to Heart

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

The American Chemical Society (ACS) announced on May 3, 2017, publication of an article entitled “Inhaled Nanoparticles Accumulate at Sites of Vascular Disease” in ACS Nano.  According to ACS, scientists have found evidence in human and animal studies that inhaled nanoparticles can travel from the lungs into the bloodstream, potentially explaining the link between air pollution and cardiovascular disease.  ACS states in its press release that in the study, 14 healthy volunteers, 12 surgical patients, and several mouse models inhaled gold nanoparticles, “which have been safely used in medical imaging and drug delivery.”  Soon after exposure, the nanoparticles were detected in blood and urine.  ACS states:  “Importantly, the nanoparticles appeared to preferentially accumulate at inflamed vascular sites, including carotid plaques in patients at risk of a stroke.  The findings suggest that nanoparticles can travel from the lungs into the bloodstream and reach susceptible areas of the cardiovascular system where they could possibly increase the likelihood of a heart attack or stroke, the researchers say.”