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Before asbestos was classified as a pathogen and a menace to the lungs of those chronically exposed to the substance, many builders and manufacturers embraced the “wonder” material for years. Because of its heat-conducting properties, strength, and other qualities, long carbon nanotubes could be progressing down a similar path, in terms of widespread usage. Despite the structures’ burgeoning popularity and immense promise, however, some speculate that they could possess a fatal flaw: asbestos-like toxicity.

In fact, a recent report published in Nature Nanotechnology has raised some eyebrows regarding the safety of longer strands of carbon nanotubes in an array of applications. Below is an excerpt from the letter, which draws upon research conducted by British institutes and the U.S.-based Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies.

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