Journal article

Size-fractionated characterization and quantification of nanoparticle release rates from a consumer spray product containing engineered nanoparticles

This study describes methods developed for reliable quantification of size- and element-specific release of engineered nanoparticles (ENP) from consumer spray products. A modified glove box setup was designed to allow controlled spray experiments in a particle-minimized environment. Time dependence of the particle size distribution in a size range of 10-500 nm and ENP release rates were studied using a scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS). In parallel, the aerosol was transferred to a size-calibrated electrostatic TEM sampler. The deposited particles were investigated using electron microscopy techniques in combination with image processing software. This approach enables the chemical and morphological characterization as well as quantification of released nanoparticles from a spray product. The differentiation of solid ENP from the released nano-sized droplets was achieved by applying a thermo-desorbing unit. After optimization, the setup was applied to investigate different spray situations using both pump and gas propellant spray dispensers for a commercially available water-based nano-silver spray. The pump spray situation showed no measurable nanoparticle release, whereas in the case of the gas spray, a significant release was observed. From the results it can be assumed that the homogeneously distributed ENP from the original dispersion grow in size and change morphology during and after the spray process but still exist as nanometer particles of size < 100 nm. Furthermore, it seems that the release of ENP correlates with the generated aerosol droplet size distribution produced by the spray vessel type used. This is the first study presenting results concerning the release of ENP from spray products.

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