The toxicity will mostly jeopardize the workers handling the powders, which for chemical vapor deposition (CVD) would be the fab workers in the bunny suits. Once the graphene is fixed in place with CVD on a substrate it should be safe--until the chips end of life when it comes apart in the landfill.
Thank you - it's hard to know how materials might affect us as there are so many threats short/long term - we have natural Asbestos in my area, and those prions from BSE and others scare the hell out of me.
Reg the Graphene - is it handled at all in a cell, or does it kill the cell, would the body remove the dead cell with the graphene in it - did I miss that in the article?
If graphine was made without the sharp edges could it be worn or broken/ablated, degraded by U/V or some other process to allow those edges to be recreated?
Whenever I hear about these new materials I alway am reminded of the Ringworld Series of books by Larry Niven.
As the graphene particles are exposing about the same shape as asbestos fibres: expect similar effects. Except when they are small enough to be absorbed. Then: switch to the effects of carbon-particulate matter.
The short-term effects were bad enough in a petri dish, hopefully we'll never know the long-term effects, but insted will engineering better methods of manfacturing graphene that eliminates its toxicity.
The researcher Agnes Kanes told me that their purpose was to make graphene safe for all types of applications, including medical implants, by engineering their properties to be non-toxic. In order to do so, her team had to first determine how graphene powders disruputs cell functions, which was the sharp corners. Their next step will be to engineer methods of eliminating the sharp corners that are piercing cell walls.
I would like to know what other materials pierce cells - I am sure there are many - also, what happens to the material when absorbed by the cell - is it incapsulated and broken down, or neutralized? The image looks bad (great image btw), but what are the long term affects?