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New Research Suggests That Micro-Particles Found In Everyday Household Cleaning Items May Be Contributing To A Novel Type Of Indoor Air Pollution That Especially Puts Children At Risk

StockPhotoPro - stock.adobe.com - illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

Scientists are raising alarms about engineered micro-particles found in everyday household cleaning items, claiming they could be contributing to a novel type of indoor air pollution.

A recent study even suggests that children, in particular, may face heightened risks even after the mist from these products has settled.

These nanomaterials, often crafted from silver, copper, and zinc, are prevalent in various commonly used household items such as cleansers, sanitizers, and aerosol sprays.

Unlike their bulk counterparts, these particles exhibit distinct characteristics. They may possess increased magnetism, enhanced thermal and electrical conductivity, or heightened chemical reactivity. However, this uniqueness also raises concerns about potential toxicity.

Gediminas Mainelis, a professor in the Department of Environmental Science at Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, has dedicated over a decade to studying these substances. Mainelis emphasized the lack of understanding regarding exposure to nanoparticles from consumer products and the consequent health impacts.

So, while many of us recognize the potential dangers of inhaling cleaning products during application, a recent study revealed that the nanomaterials can actually persistently re-enter the air even after initially settling.

“If an adult is walking in a room and steps on some of these deposited particles, we found that the particles will be re-suspended in the air and rise as high as that person’s breathing zone,” Mainelis explained.

“A child playing on the floor inhales even more because the concentrations of particles are greater closer to the ground.”

The researchers came to these findings by setting up a controlled chamber with regulated air conditions furnished with both carpeting and vinyl flooring. Subsequently, they sprayed seven products containing metal nanoparticles into the chamber before allowing them to settle.

StockPhotoPro – stock.adobe.com – illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

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