CPSC study: Release of Silver from Nanotechnology-Based Consumer Products for Children

Subject Area:
Non-NNI Other Reports
EHS-related Documents
Author: Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
Publication Date: Jul. 3 2013

Description:

Abstract: We assessed the potential for children’s exposure to bioavailable silver during the realistic use of selected nanotechnology-based consumer products (plush toy, fabric products, breast milk storage bags, sippy cups, cleaning products, humidifiers, and humidifier accessory). We measured the release of ionic and particulate silver from products into water, orange juice, milk formula, synthetic saliva, sweat, and urine (1:50 product to liquid mass ratio); into air; and onto dermal wipes. Of the liquid media, sweat and urine yielded the highest amount of silver release, up to 38% of the silver mass in products; tap water yielded the lowest amount, ≤1.5%. Leaching from a blanket into sweat plateaued within 5 min, with less silver released after washing. Between 0.3 and 23 μg m–2 of silver transferred from products to wipes. Aerosol concentrations were not significantly elevated during product use. Fabrics, a plush toy, and cleaning products were most likely to release silver. Silver leached mainly via dissolution and was facilitated in media with high salt concentrations. Levels of silver to which children may potentially be exposed during the normal use of these consumer products is predicted to be low, and bioavailable silver is expected to be in ionic rather than particulate form.


Nanotechnology Fact

Nanotechnology encompasses science, engineering, and technology at the nanoscale, which is about 1 to 100 nanometers. Just how small is that? A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. For reference, a sheet of paper is about 100,000 nanometers thick. Nanoscale matter can behave differently than the same bulk material. For example, a material’s melting point, color, strength, chemical reactivity, and more may change at the nanoscale.

Researchers seeking to understand the fundamentals of properties at the nanoscale may call their work nanoscience; those focused on effective use of the properties may call their work nanoengineering. Encompassing nanoscale science, engineering, and technology, nanotechnology involves imaging, measuring, modeling, and manipulating matter at the nanoscale.

Learn more in the Nano 101 section.

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