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J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2011 Sep-Oct;21(5):515-28. doi: 10.1038/jes.2011.10. Epub 2011 Mar 2.

Potential for exposure to engineered nanoparticles from nanotechnology-based consumer spray products.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Sciences, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, Rutgers University, 14 College Farm Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA.


The potential for human exposure to engineered nanoparticles due to the use of nanotechnology-based consumer sprays (categorized as such by the Nanotechnology Consumer Products Inventory) is examined along with analogous products, which are not specified as nanotechnology-based (regular products). Photon correlation spectroscopy was used to obtain particle size distributions in the initial liquid products. Transmission electron microscopy was used to determine particle size, shape, and agglomeration of the particles. Realistic application of the spray products near the human breathing zone characterized airborne particles that are released during use of the sprays. Aerosolization of sprays with standard nebulizers was used to determine their potential for inhalation exposure. Electron microscopy detected the presence of nanoparticles in some nanotechnology-based sprays as well as in several regular products, whereas the photon correlation spectroscopy indicated the presence of particles <100 nm in all investigated products. During the use of most nanotechnology-based and regular sprays, particles ranging from 13 nm to 20 μm were released, indicating that they could he inhaled and consequently deposited in all regions of the respiratory system. The results indicate that exposures to nanoparticles as well as micrometer-sized particles can be encountered owing to the use of nanotechnology-based sprays as well as regular spray products.

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