A Ball State University architecture professor recently urged building designers and builders to keep themselves informed of the possible health risks of using nanoparticles in building materials. Dr. George Elvin pointed to commercially available nano-based water filters, HVAC filters, and cleaning products and coatings as possibly permitting exposure to nanoparticles. Dr. Elvin indicated that the health risks of such exposure are not currently known, but believes "[b]uildings will undoubtedly be one of our prime areas of contact with nanoparticles both inhaled and absorbed through the skin." In particular, he cited the potential that countertops, handrails, door pulls, and cabinets might incorporate nanoparticles as a possible source of exposure. He also pointed out that the International Conference of Building Officials and the American Society for Testing and Materials are still working on methodoligies for dealing with and regulating nanotechnology. Dr. Elvin’s nanotechnology blog can be found at: www.nanotechbuzz.com.
"Risks in architectural applications of nanotechnology," November 9, 2006, www.nanowerk.com/spotlight’spotid=1007.php