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Natural and anthropogenic

What kind of nano-objects are we talking about?

It is necessary to distinguish natural and "anthropogenic" (related to human activities) nano-objects. Either they are unintentional (combustion, abrasion, processes emitting dust,…) or manufactured. Recent toxicology studies show that some synthesized nano-objects will likely reveal toxic for some forms or chemical compositions. So we must take appropriate precaution measures.


Anthropogenic particles are emitted by combustion (fossil energy, biomass), transport fumes or industrial activities.


Natural nanoparticles are produced vegetation, volcanic eruptions, sea spray or erosion.

Since that man exists, it inspires 5 to 10 million particles of very different types at each inspiration without suffering from any apparent damage. A barbecue produced a very significant expansion of nanoparticles in the neighborhood.

However, the particles emitted unintentional can be harmful to human health, such as soots emitted by certain industrial activities and by the engines (petrol, diesel).

The french institue “Santé Publique France” estimates in 2016 that 34000 deaths could be prevented in year in France if all communes of France decrease the level of the airborne particles.