Nanosized aerosols from consumer sprays: experimental analysis and exposure modeling for four commercial products

Research paper by Christiane Lorenz, Harald Hagendorfer, Natalie von Goetz, Ralf Kaegi, Robert Gehrig, Andrea Ulrich, Martin Scheringer, Konrad Hungerbühler

Indexed on: 12 Feb '11Published on: 12 Feb '11Published in: Journal of Nanoparticle Research


Consumer spray products are already on the market in the cosmetics and household sector, which suggest by their label that they contain engineered nanoparticles (ENP). Sprays are considered critical for human health, because the lungs represent a major route for the uptake of ENP into the human body. To contribute to the exposure assessment of ENP in consumer spray products, we analyzed ENP in four commercially available sprays: one antiperspirant, two shoe impregnation sprays, and one plant-strengthening agent. The spray dispersions were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS) and (scanning-) transmission electron microscopy ((S)TEM). Aerosols were generated by using the original vessels, and analyzed by scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS) and (S)TEM. On the basis of SMPS results, the nanosized aerosol depositing in the respiratory tract was modeled for female and male consumers. The derived exposure levels reflect a single spray application. We identified ENP in the dispersions of two products (shoe impregnation and plant spray). Nanosized aerosols were observed in three products that contained propellant gas. The aerosol number concentration increased linearly with the sprayed amount, with the highest concentration resulting from the antiperspirant. Modeled aerosol exposure levels were in the range of 1010 nanosized aerosol components per person and application event for the antiperspirant and the impregnation sprays, with the largest fraction of nanosized aerosol depositing in the alveolar region. Negligible exposure from the application of the plant spray (pump spray) was observed.