A study by Swiss and Dutch researchers has called for the development of higher standards to evaluate the potential risks posed by consumer aerosol sprays—often used in personal care products—containing nanoparticles. Sabrina Losert, et al., “Human Exposure to Conventional and Nanoparticle- Containing Sprays—A Critical Review,” International Journal of Nanomedicine, April 29, 2014.

Noting that the number of products containing manufactured nanoparticles and their agglomerates and aggregates has increased during the past 10 years from a few to several hundred, the researchers observe that while numerous studies examining pesticide release from aerosol products exist, there are fewer studies concerning nanoparticle release even though such studies are “critical” for consumers because inhalation exposure to potentially toxic nanoparticles can occur.

The scientists contend that, although there has been some focus on regulations related to cosmetic aerosol products, generally, there has been a shift away from labeling nanoparticles across all consumer spray products. Among other things, the researchers recommend (i) improved techniques for determining the size of nanoparticles inside spray droplets; (ii) improved reporting, including more information on the experimental setting and on the types of spray cans used; and (iii) a “standardized” experimental setup.