Research Paper

Journal of Nanoparticle Research

, 14:1229

First online:

Nanomaterial inhalation exposure from nanotechnology-based cosmetic powders: a quantitative assessment

  • Yevgen NazarenkoAffiliated withDepartment of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University
  • , Huajun ZhenAffiliated withDepartment of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University
  • , Taewon HanAffiliated withDepartment of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University
  • , Paul J. LioyAffiliated withRWJMS-UMDNJEnvironmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute
  • , Gediminas MainelisAffiliated withDepartment of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers UniversityEnvironmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute Email author 

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In this study we quantified exposures to airborne particles ranging from 14 nm to 20 μm due to the use of nanotechnology-based cosmetic powders. Three nanotechnology-based and three regular cosmetic powders were realistically applied to a mannequin’s face while measuring the concentration and size distribution of inhaled aerosol particles. Using these data we calculated that the highest inhaled particle mass was in the coarse aerosol fraction (2.5–10 μm), while particles <100 nm made minimal contribution to the inhaled particle mass. For all powders, 85–93 % of aerosol deposition occurred in the head airways, while <10 % deposited in the alveolar and <5 % in the tracheobronchial regions. Electron microscopy data suggest that nanomaterials were likely distributed as agglomerates across the entire investigated aerosol size range (14 nm–20 μm). Thus, investigation of nanoparticle health effects should consider not only the alveolar region, but also other respiratory system regions where substantial nanomaterial deposition during the actual nanotechnology-based product use would occur.


Nanoaerosol Consumer products Nanoparticles Personal exposure Safety of nanotechnology