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Consumer 3D printers may harm your lungs: Study

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New York, Oct 8 Consumer-grade 3D printers emit particles that can negatively impact indoor air quality and have the potential to harm respiratory health, according to a new study.

Researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology and UL Chemical Safety research group collected particles emitted from 3D printers and conducted several tests to gauge their impact on respiratory cell cultures.

“All of these tests, which were done at high doses, showed that there is a toxic response to the particles from various types of filaments used by these 3D printers,” said Rodney Weber, Professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, who led the research.

The overall 3D printing market is expected to grow from $9.9 billion last year to $34.8 billion by 2024 and consumer 3D printing is accelerating.

3D printers typically work by melting plastic filaments and then depositing the melt layer upon layer to form an object.

Heating the plastic to melt it releases volatile compounds, some of which from ultrafine particles, that are emitted into the air near the printer and the object.

In earlier research, the team found that generally the hotter the temperature required to melt the filament, the more emissions were produced.

As a result, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic filaments, which require a higher temperature to melt, produced more emissions than filaments made of polylactic acid (PLA), which melt at a lower temperature.

To test the impact of the emissions on live cells, the researchers partnered with Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, which exposed human respiratory cells and rat immune system cells to concentrations of the particles from the printers.

They found that both ABS and PLA particles negatively impacted cell viability, with the latter prompting a more toxic response. But these tests did not reflect actual exposures.

The study was part of multi-year research project aimed at characterising particle emissions by the printers in a controlled environment and identifying measures that could be taken by both 3D printer manufacturers and users to reduce the potential for harm.

“The toxicity tests showed that PLA particles were more toxic than the ABS particles on a per-particle comparison, but because the printers emitted so much more of the ABS – it’s the ABS emissions that end up being more of the concern,” Weber elaborated.

Taken together, these tests indicate that exposure to these filament particles could over time be as toxic as the air in an urban environment polluted with vehicular or other emissions.

The study also looked at which types of indoor environmental scenarios emissions from a 3D printer would most impact.

They estimated that in a commercial building setting such as a school or an office, better ventilation would limit the amount of exposure to the emissions.

However, in a typical residential setting with less effective ventilation, the exposure could be much higher, they reported in a paper published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

“These studies show that particle and chemical emissions from 3D printers can result in unintentional pollutant exposure hazards, and we are pleased to share this research so that steps can be taken to reduce health risks,” said Marilyn Black, senior technical advisor for UL.

Cities

Jharkhand doctor prescribes pregnancy test to men for stomach ache

Following this, the two men complained against the doctor to Arun Kumar Paswan, the civil surgeon of Chatra district.

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Ranchi, Oct 14 : A doctor in Jharkhand prescribed pregnancy test to two young men in Chatra district after they complained of stomach pain.

Besides pregnancy test, Mukesh Kumar, a government hospital doctor, also asked Gopal Ganjhu and Kameshwar Janhu to undergo tests for HIV and haemoglobin.

Following this, the two men complained against the doctor to Arun Kumar Paswan, the civil surgeon of Chatra district.

“A probe has been ordered into the matter,” Paswan told reporters.

Kumar has however denied the allegation.

In July, another doctor in East Singhbhum district had prescribed condoms to a woman who had complained of stomach pain.

Only when she visited a pharmacy, she realised that the prescribed medicine on the prescription was a condom.

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75-year-old woman delivers baby girl in Kota

The baby had to be delivered prematurely via C-section after 6.5 months of pregnancy given the age of the mother, who was medically and physically weak.

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Jaipur, Oct 13 : A 75-year-old woman has delivered a baby girl in Kota via IVF late on Saturday night, doctors confirmed on Sunday.

The underweight child, weighing 600 gm, has been shifted to the newborn intensive care unit (NICU) of another hospital while the woman was in Kinkar Hospital in Kota. A team of pediatricians is monitoring the child.

The woman, who had earlier adopted a kid, wanted to have her own child and hence had consulted the doctors about the possibilities of her becoming a mother. She wanted to try IVF, said Abhilasha Kinkar, a doctor at a private hospital.

The baby had to be delivered prematurely via C-section after 6.5 months of pregnancy given the age of the mother, who was medically and physically weak. Moreover, the woman had only one lung, which was a challenge for the medical team.

The woman, who belongs to a farmer’s family with a rural background, had insisted to have her own baby which left the medicos surprised, said Kinkar.

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Health

President’s call to address healthcare challenges

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Mysuru (Karnataka), Oct 12 President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday called for a multi-pronged approach to address the healthcare challenges due to the triple burden of communicable, non-communicable and emerging diseases in the country.

“Though we have achieved a lot over the years, we are challenged by communicable, non-communicable and emerging diseases. We need to improve access to health services for the people,” said Kovind at a foundation stone-laying event in Karnataka’s Varuna village near Mysuru.

Admitting that malnutrition and neglected tropical diseases put severe constraints on the people, Kovind said cleanliness and sanitation were the basic requirement to tackle many health-related issues and diseases.

Addressing a huge gathering at the JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research in the village on the occasion, the President said the healthcare challenges were a fallout of the larger socio-economic problems across the country.

“Solutions to meet the health challenges need to be broad-based and multi-pronged. The stakeholders should use the power of modern medicine and traditional knowledge. They must focus on body and mind and involve in prevention and cure,” asserted Kovind.

Set up in 2008, the Academy is a tribute to Shivarathri Rajendra Mahaswamiji, whose 104th birth anniversary is being commemorated this year.

Varuna is the home town of former state chief minister and opposition Congress leader Siddaramaiah.

The President is on a three-day visit to the southern state since Thursday to participate in various educational, religious and judicial functions at Mysuru and Bengaluru on Saturday.

Kovind also visited the Hindu goddess Chammundeshwari Devi temple atop a hill on the outskirts of Mysuru.

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