The growing industrialization and urbanization involving transportation,construction, petroleum refining, mining, manufacturing etc., produce largeamounts of hazardous wastes which cause air, water, and soil pollution andconsequently threaten human public health and the environmental security. The pollutantsare released to the environment in different forms, for example atmosphericpollutants include toxic gases (nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, carbon oxides,ozone, etc.), suspended airborne particles, and volatile organic compounds(VOCs), while soil and water pollutants may comprise of organic substances(pesticides, insecticides, phenols, hydrocarbons, etc.), heavy metals (lead,cadmium, arsenic, mercury, etc.), as well as microbial pathogens. Theseenvironmental pollutants have a great potential to adversely influence thehuman health (Fereidoun et al.
2007; Kampa and Castanas 2008), since they canfind their way into human body either through inhalation, ingestion, orabsorption (Ibrahim et al., 2016). Worldwide epidemiological studieshave shown that human exposure to respirable particulate matter is correlatedwith the increase in cardiac and respiratory morbidity and mortality.
Withoutquestion, combustion is a major source through which particulate matter entersthe environment and it is therefore important to understand the characteristicsof these particles and their relation to adverse health effects. In addition toenvironmental exposure through combustion-generated nanoparticles, anotherhuman exposure route is the intentional use of nanoparticles in engineeringapplications. The increasing use of nanomaterials to improve the consumerproducts and medical treatments may significantly increase the potential forhuman occupational and environmental exposure to nanoparticles. Only, recentlyhave the potential health impacts of such exposure been critically questioned(DeLoid et al., 2014; Weidemann et al., 2016). Nanoparticlesmay play a role in many chronic diseases where infectious pathogens have notbeen suspected, diseases that were previously attributed only to geneticfactors and lifestyle. These small particles, nanoparticles, have the abilityto enter, translocate within, and damage living organisms.
This ability resultsprimarily from their small size, which allows them to penetrate physiologicalbarriers and travel within the circulatory systems of a host. The smallestparticles contain tens or hundreds of atoms, with dimensions at the scale ofnanometers, hence nanoparticles. The toxicity of each of these materialsdepends greatly, however, on the particular arrangement of its many atoms. Consideringall the possible variations in shape and chemistry of even the smallestnanoparticles, with only tens of atoms, yields a vast number of diversematerials with potentially very different physical and toxicological properties.
Continuingexposure to nanoparticles may cause serious damage to the human’s respiratorytract, lung diseases, heart diseases, and premature death (Pui et al. 2014).However, many emerging novelties of nanomaterials would expedite the rising ofpotential risks to industrial workers, consumers, and the environment. Due to alack of complete standard diagnosis and guideline, the local medical departmentrefused to admit that an occupational hazard existed. Nanometer-sized particlesare created in countless physical processes from erosion to combustion, with varioushealth risks. Industrial nanoparticle materials today constitute a tiny butsignificant pollution source that is, so far, literally buried beneath muchlarger natural sources and nanoparticle pollution incidental to other humanactivities. While uncontained nanoparticles clearly represent a serious healththreat, fixed nanostructured materials, such as thin film coatings, microchipelectronics, and many other existing nanoengineered materials, are known to bevirtually benign.
Nanoparticles are emitted from natural and anthropogenicsources and are produced via nanotechnology. Fast propagation of nanotechnologies into different industries and consumer products is causingexponential growth of nano material production. Hence, increasing amounts ofnanoparticles reach occupational settings and the indoor and outdoorenvironments, thus representing a potentially serious hazard to human health (Nelet al, 2006; Castranova 2011). Although, nano-size particles are capable of enteringthe cell membranes their interactions with biological systems are relativelyunknown (Holsapple et al. 2005).