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Potential for Inhalation Exposure to Engineered Nanoparticles from Nanotechnology-Based Cosmetic Powders
Link to Journal Abstract
Background: The market of nanotechnology-based consumer products is rapidly expanding, and the lack of scientific evidence describing the accompanying exposure and health risks stalls the discussion regarding its guidance and regulation.
Objectives: We investigated the potential for human contact and inhalation exposure to nanomaterials when using nanotechnology-based cosmetic powders and compare them with analogous products not marketed as nanotechnology based. Methods: We characterized the products using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and laser diffraction spectroscopy and found nanoparticles in five of six tested products. TEM photomicrographs showed highly agglomerated states of nanoparticles in the products. We realistically simulated the use of cosmetic powders by applying them to the face of a human mannequin head while simultaneously sampling the released airborne particles through the ports installed in the mannequin’s nostrils. Results: We found that a user would be exposed to nanomaterial predominantly through nanoparticle-containing agglomerates larger than the 1–100-nm aerosol fraction. Conclusions: Predominant deposition of nanomaterial(s) will occur in the tracheobronchial and head airways—not in the alveolar region as would be expected based on the size of primary nanoparticles. This could potentially lead to different health effects than expected based on the current understanding of nanoparticle behavior and toxicology studies for the alveolar region.
For this study, the authors investigated the potential for human contact and inhalation exposure to nanomaterials when using nanotechnology-based cosmetic powders and compare them with analogous products not marketed as nanotechnology based. They realistically simulated the use of cosmetic powders by applying them to the face of a human mannequin head while simultaneously sampling the released airborne particles through the ports installed in the mannequin’s nostrils.
Peer Reviewed Journal Article
Exposure Or Hazard Target
Method Of Study
Material Analysis and Applications
Risk Exposure Group
Environmental Health Perspectives, 120(6): 885-892 (June 2012)
Environmental Health Perspectives
Nazarenko Y, Zhen H, Han T, Lioy PJ, Mainelis G
Last updated on June 12, 2012
This work is supported in part by the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Initiative of the National Science Foundation
under NSF Award Number EEC-0118007.
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