Pulmonary exposure to nanomaterials during pregnancy affects the development of the fetus

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The possible developmental toxicity of nanomaterials is gaining much attention but studies are still scarce, especially after inhalation. Nanomaterials have indeed been shown to cross the respiratory barrier allowing them to reach secondary organs such as liver and kidney. However, very few studies have investigated the consequences of nanoparticle inhalation on the placenta and possible translocation through this essential barrier, despite the risks on pregnancy outcomes and fetus development. The revues of Hougaard et al. and Ema et al. have summarized the current knowledge on developmental toxicity of nanoparticles and underlined the need of additional studies in this field. In the last months, two studies (1,2) have reemphasized the danger of pulmonary exposure to nanomaterials during pregnancy.