Study Reveals Children Receive Highest Exposure to Nanomaterials

A research study has reported that the level of exposure to titanium dioxide nanoparticles in kids may be much higher than that of adults, as children eat more amounts of candy containing these nanoparticles.

The study performed by Paul Westerhoff and his colleagues provides the first comprehensive data on quantities of titanium dioxide nanoparticles in a broad array of consumer goods, ranging from cosmetics to paint to food. The study findings have been reported in Environmental Science & Technology, a journal of the American Chemical Society.

Westerhoff informed that the body discharges the nanoparticles in urine and feces. Wastewater treatment plants are not efficient enough in preventing these nanoparticles from entering into rivers and lakes. There was only one study conducted a decade ago that provided data on titanium dioxide concentration in a few number of commercial products. To obtain information about the exposure of humans to titanium dioxide nanoparticles, Westerhoff’s team measured the nanomaterial content in adhesives, paints, personal care products and food.

The team discovered that kids consume more amounts of titanium dioxide when compared to adults because sweets such as icing, marshmallows and candies have the highest levels of the nanoparticles. The paper reported the names of the products analyzed and their titanium dioxide content. Westerhoff suggests that regulators should change their focus from titanium dioxide nanoparticles utilized in industrial processes and paints to food-grade particles as they are a potential source of risk to humans, animals and the environment.


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