Nano-particles are minute particles that can only be observed through microscopic means, and whose tiny size make them to have larger surface areas compared to their volume, hence making them to bear and show special properties/characteristics different from those of large particles.


Several sources have been identified:

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Natural occurrences

Nano- particles/ ultrafine particles are produced naturally through abrasion actions of the wind, or they can also be produced through natural combustions such as those occurring in places with volcanic eruption.

Artificial occurrence sources

A part from natural sources of the ultrafine particles; there are artificially produced nano-particles which may be intentionally or non-intentionally generated by man or his activities. The intentionally man’s- produced microscopic metal particles are used to achieve a specific function or action, thus, they are viewed as of benefit to human beings. On the other hand, those nanoparticles which are non-intentionally produced are not aimed at the achievement of any positive or negative development (Ostroumov, 2005, 378).

Environmental effects

Even though technological application of nano-particles has been on the increase over the past few years, especially in the field of biosciences as well as in physical and engineering sciences, much of the information from these areas have revealed that nano-particles pose a threat to the environment and human life (Luther, 2005, 391). Concerning this particular issue, it has been stated that “the concentration of airborne particles of ~10 µm diameter has long been implicated with human health problems. Recently it has been speculated that nano-particles of <0.1 µm may have greater health significance, especially with regard to cardiovascular disease”.