Airborne manufactured nano-objects released from commercially available spray products: temporal and spatial influences

J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. Jan-Feb 2014;24(1):74-81. doi: 10.1038/jes.2013.36. Epub 2013 Jul 17.


This paper reports a study of the dispersion of manufactured nano-objects (MNOs) through the air, both in time and space, during the use of two commercially available nano-spray products and comparable products without MNOs. The main objective was to identify whether personal exposure can occur at a greater distance than the immediate proximity of the source (>1 m from the source), that is, in the "far field" (bystanders), or at a period after the emission occurred (re-entry). The spray experiments were conducted in an experimental room with well-controlled environmental and ventilation conditions (19.5 m(3)). The concentration of MNOs was investigated by measuring real-time size distribution, number, and active surface area concentration. For off-line analysis of the particles in the air, samples for scanning/transmission electron microscopy and elemental analysis were collected. The release of MNOs was measured at ∼30 and 290 cm from the source ("near field" and "far field", respectively). For all four spray products, the maximum number and surface area concentrations in the "near field" exceeded the maximum concentrations reached in the "far field". At 2 min after the emission occurred, the concentration in both the "near field" and "far field" reached a comparable steady-state level above background level. These steady-state concentrations remained elevated above background concentration throughout the entire measurement period (12 min). The results of the real-time measurement devices mainly reflect the liquid aerosols emitted by the spray process itself rather than only the MNO, which hampers the interpretation of the results. However, the combination of the off-line analysis and the results of the real-time devices indicates that after the use of nano-spray products, personal exposure to MNOs can occur not only in the near field, but also at a greater distance than the immediate proximity of the source and at a period after emission occurred.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aerosols*
  • Air Pollutants / analysis
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods
  • Inhalation Exposure / analysis*
  • Nanoparticles*
  • Physics


  • Aerosols
  • Air Pollutants