Cancer study looks at fibres

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Health risks posed to people who work with tiny fibres used in manufacturing industries could be reduced, thanks to new research by Edinburgh University.

Research into the health risks posed by nanofibres – used to strengthen objects from tennis rackets to airplane wings – has pinpointed the lengths at which these fibres can cause lung disease. The study found that lung cells were not affected by short fibres that were less than five-thousandths of a millimetre long. However, longer fibres can reach the lung cavity, where they become stuck.