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Anal Chem. 2014 Mar 18;86(6):3053-9. doi: 10.1021/ac404017u. Epub 2014 Feb 25.

Total reflection X-ray fluorescence analysis of airborne silver nanoparticles from fabrics.

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Institut für Anorganische und Angewandte Chemie, Universität Hamburg , Martin-Luther-King-Platz 6, Hamburg 20146, Germany.


Ag nanoparticles (NPs) are usually applied to consumer products because of their antimicrobial properties, which are desired in fabrics for sportswear as well as cloth used for cleaning. Hazards to human health from airborne Ag NPs may occur when the NPs are inhaled. NPs are comparable in size to macromolecules and viruses and able to penetrate deep into the lungs, e.g., the alveoli, where they may cause damage to cells and tissue due to their large surface area. In this study, aerosols released form fabrics treated with Ag NPs were collected using a low pressure Berner impactor and analyzed with total reflection X-ray fluorescence (TXRF). We found that the Ag NPs are released primarily in the form of larger particles, mainly 0.13-2 μm, probably attached to fiber material. Using an electron micro probe, single particles could be identified. The detection of backscattered electrons suggests small spots on the particle consist of a heavier element, which most likely is Ag, although the signal in energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) was below the lower limit of detection (LOD). To achieve LODs necessary for Ag determination, Ar peaks were eliminated by a nitrogen atmosphere provided by the "Picofox-box". This enables linear calibration and quantification of Ag. The LOD was calculated at 0.2 ng (2.0 ppb). Following the TXRF and scanning electron microscopy (SEM)/EDX analysis, the aerosol samples were dissolved in nitric acid and analyzed with ICPMS to successfully confirm the results obtained by the TXRF measurements.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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