3D technology – isn’t it dangerous?

From an abstract figure with an amorphous structure in orange and pink, particles are scattered on a gray background.

Scientists also comment on the development of "ink" for food printing

3D printing is settling in more and more areas of life, especially recently when it is increasingly used for the production of masks, respirators and other virus protection products. Scientists predict a bright future for this technology, but some experts doubt its safety. How well-founded are their concerns that fine particles released during printing could get deep into the lungs and impair indoor air quality?

A study by Dr. Yong Qiang of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) evaluates the potential toxicity of 3D printing emissions by comparing human and rat lung cells after inhaling such particles. The emitted emissions of the amorphous polymer acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, according to the results, showed moderate toxicity in human lung cells and minimal in those of rats.

Cassava print gel

Meanwhile, it has become clear that a team of French and Brazilian researchers are developing modified starch hydrogels as “ink” for 3D food printing. An article in Food Research International tells about their discoveries. The first gels that scientists experimented with were based on cassava starch. They modify it by changing the structure and properties of starch with the help of ozone. In the last two years, the team has been trying another method of modification, namely dry heating of cassava and wheat starch. The experiments continue.

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