Inhalation exposure to nanomaterials in consumer spray products available in the UK

Products containing nanomaterials (NMs) (size < 100 nanometres) are rapidly entering the market, however little is known about inhalation exposures to NMs from their use. Here, we obtained a representative sample (based on product type and claimed content e.g. silver, silica, gold) and found that 12 out of 16 products contained detectable NMs. We used a multi-method approach to characterise the NMs within products. The sizes of the airborne particles/droplets produced by spraying a sub-set (6) of products were measured using aerodynamic and mobility particle sizers, demonstrating the presence of inhalable aerosols, and for one product the size-resolved distribution of NM within the aerosol was assessed via sampling with NanoMOUDI and subsequent ICP-MS analysis. Whilst 5 out of 6 products clearly contained NMs, only 3 produced aerosols in the nano-size range, suggesting that other constituents (e.g. solvent, fragrance) make up the bulk of the aerosol mass. Using the data generated, quantities of NMs inhaled when using these products can be estimated, important for appropriate risk characterisation.

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