Carbon nanotubes

In 2010, researchers reported the presence of carbon nanotubes in the lungs of WTC first responders.[15] Carbon nanotubes are high-tech nanostructured materials, which exhibit unique properties like ballistic conduction.  The health effects of carbon nanotubes have been shown to be similar to the health effects produced by exposure to asbestos.[16]

Carbon nanotube formation requires three basic components: a source of carbon, a source of heat, and the presence of certain metals.  In particular, formation of the single walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) found in the lungs of first responders requires that the metals be present.[17] All of these requirements were met at the WTC site on, and for months after, September 11, 2001.

The three most effective metals for the synthesis of SWCNTs are iron, nickel and cobalt.  Both iron and nickel were present in high concentrations near Ground Zero, as shown by aerosol testing done by a team from the University of California, Davis.[18] Iron oxide and nickel oxide are common oxidants in thermite mixtures.

Airborne carbon compounds were certainly present in abundance at Ground Zero in the form of particulate matter resulting from the fires.  Heat was also in abundance, as extremely high temperatures were present on 9/11 and afterward at Ground Zero.  These temperatures were at least 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, hotter than first reported by government scientists, and were far higher than temperatures seen in a normal structure fire.

The molten metal and vaporized silicates that have been reported in the WTC dust can only be explained by the presence of an exothermic reaction like the thermite reaction.[19] Large quantities of carbon nanotubes might have been formed at Ground Zero due to the high temperature environments created by the thermite reaction and the airborne metal catalysts that were also present.

A second possible explanation for the carbon nanotubes in the lung tissue of the first responders is that the carbon nanotubes were components of actual energetic materials that were used in the destruction of the buildings.  Carbon nanotubes have been used as energetic modifiers,[20] to improve stabilization of explosives,[21] and to enhance ignition properties.[22]


Some of the illnesses suffered by the WTC first responders might be explained by the existing evidence of energetic materials, like thermite, at Ground Zero.  For example aluminum, aluminum oxide and aluminum silicates are known causal factors for some of the common illnesses seen, such as sarcoidosis, pulmonary fibrosis, and the as-yet-unexplained immune system diseases.  Furthermore, the rare cancers found in some first responders could be the result of environmental factors such as the unusually high levels of benzene and derivatives of 1,3-DPP which suggest the presence of energetic materials like thermite and nanothermite.

Analysis of the lung tissue of first responders has also indicated that energetic materials might be involved.  The unusual platy configurations of aluminum silicates found in those lung tissue samples seem similar to the platy configurations of aluminum and silicon in the nanothermite that has been discovered in WTC dust samples.

The finding of carbon nanotubes in the lungs of first responders suggests two possible explanations.  The nanotubes might have been formed in the unusual environment at Ground Zero, where extremely high temperatures and the presence of airborne metallic species gives yet more evidence for the presence of thermitic materials.  Alternatively, the nanotubes might have been components of energetic materials.  In either case, the presence of carbon nanotubes in the lungs of WTC first responders suggests the use of energetic materials and should be studied in more depth.

These facts and research findings warrant further study of the correlation between environmental testing results, first responder health study results, and the use of energetic materials at the WTC.


[1] Jenkins C. 2007.  Complaint and Additional Evidence of pH Fraud by: USGS, OSHA, ATSDR, NYC, EPA, and EPA-funded scientists.  Journal of 9/11 Studies 12.  Available: [accessed 19 January 2011].

[2] Wu M, Gordon RE, Herbert R, Padilla M, Moline J, Mendelson D, Litle V, Travis WD, Gil J. 2010.  Case Report: Lung disease in World Trade Center responders exposed to dust and smoke: Carbon nanotubes found in the lungs of World Trade Center patients and dust samples, Environmental Health Perspectives 118 (4).

[3] Cai H, Cao M, Meng F, Wei J. 2007.  Pulmonary sarcoid-like granulomatosis induced by aluminum dust: report of a case and literature review.  Chinese Medical Journal 120 (17) : 1556-1560.   Available: [accessed 19 January 2011].

[4] Jederlinic PJ, Abraham JL, Churg A, Himmelstein JS, Epler GR, Gaensler EA. 1990.  Pulmonary fibrosis in aluminum oxide workers. Investigation of nine workers, with pathologic examination and microanalysis in three of them.  Am Rev Respir Dis. 142(5):1179-84.

[5] Jones SE, Farrer J, Jenkins GS, Legge F, Gourley J, Ryan K, Farnsworth D, Grabbe C. 2008.  Extremely High Temperatures during the World Trade Center Destruction, Journal of 9/11 Studies 19.   Available: [accessed 19 January 2011].

[6] Taku Murakami, US Patent 5532449 – Using plasma ARC and thermite to demolish concrete,

[7] Cole, J.  2010.  9/11 Experiments: The Great Thermate Debate. Available: [accessed 19 January 2011].

[8] Harrit NH, Farrer J, Jones SE, Ryan KR, Legge FM, Farnsworth D, Roberts G, Gourley JR, Larsen BR. 2009.  Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe.  The Open Chemical Physics Journal 2:7-31;  doi: 10.2174/1874412500902010007 [Online April 2005]

[9] Ibid

[10] Ryan KR, Gourley JR, Jones SE. 2009.  Environmental anomalies at the World Trade Center: evidence for energetic materials. The Environmentalist 29 (1):56-63; doi: 10.1007/s10669-008-9182-4 [Online 4 August 2008]

[11] Ibid

[12] Ibid

[13] Moline JM, Herbert R, Crowley L, Troy K, Hodgman E, Shukla G, Udasin I, Luft B, Wallenstein S, Landrigan P, Savitz DA.  2009.  Multiple Myeloma in World Trade Center Responders: A Case Series.  Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine 51(8): 896-902.

[14] Eriksson M, Karlsson M. 1992.  Occupational and other environmental factors and multiple myeloma: a population based case-control study. Br J Ind Med 49(2): 95–103.

[15] Maoxin Wu, et al.

[16] Van Noorden R. 2008.  Carbon nanotubes behave like asbestos. Chemistry World.  Available: [accessed 19 January 2011].

[17] Height JH.  2003.  Flame synthesis of carbon nanotubes and metallic nanomaterials.  Dissertation submission to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Chemical Engineering.

[18] Ryan KR, et al.

[19] Jones SE, et al.

[20] Ramaswamy AL, Kaste P.  2003.  Combustion modifiers for energetic materials.  34th International Annual Conference of ICT; Karlsruhe; Germany; 24-27 June 2003. 1-13.

[21] Patent issued to Raytheon Company, WO/2008/082724.  Improved Explosive Materials by Stabilization in Nanotubes.  World Intellectual Property organization. Available: [accessed 19 January 2011].

[22] Manaa MR, Mitchell AR, Garza RG, Pagoria PF, Watkins BE. 2005.  Flash Ignition and Initiation of Explosives−Nanotubes Mixture.  J. Am. Chem. Soc. 127(40):13786–13787.