Potential for Inhalation Exposure to Engineered Nanoparticles from Nanotechnology-Based Cosmetic Powders.
Environ Health Perspect. 2012 Mar 6. Epub 2012 Mar 6. PMID: 22394622
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.
Background. The market of nanotechnology-based consumer products is rapidly expanding. The lack of scientific evidence describing accompanying exposure and health risks stalls the discussion regarding its guidance and regulation. Objectives. Here we investigate the potential for human contact and inhalation exposure to nanomaterials when using nanotechnology-based cosmetic powders and compare them to analogous products, which are not marketed as nanotechnology-based. Methods. We characterized the products using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and laser diffraction spectroscopy and found nanoparticles in five out of six tested products. The TEM 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 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. We conclude that predominant deposition of nanomaterial(s) would occur in the tracheo-bronchial 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 nanoparticle behavior and toxicology studies for the alveolar region.