Abrasion-Induced Airborne Nanoparticle Release from Consumer Products

A.K. Persily, J. Lo, S. Nabinger, D. Poppendieck
National Institute of Standards and Technology, US

Keywords: abrasion, chamber, coatings, consumer products, nanoparticle


Polymer and other coatings are commonly used to protect, enhance, or decorate wood, plastic and metal products used in homes and other buildings, including flooring finishes and interior paints. However, the coatings and the surfaces they are applied to are subject to scratching, abrasion, and chipping during manufacture, shipping and use. Nanoparticles (particles having at least one dimension smaller than 100 nm) are increasingly being added to coating formulations to reduce such damage as well as to enhance properties such as mildew resistance. Because of their small size and large surface area, nanomaterials may exhibit different physical, chemical, and transport behaviors in the human body and the environment. Research in recent years has indicated that nanoparticles may be potentially harmful to human health and the environment. In order to better understand human exposure associated with the airborne release of such particles, a series of tests of materials with coatings containing nanoparticles was conducted in a small environmental chamber in which coated materials were such to surface abrasion intended to simulate normal wear and tear. This report describes the experimental approach and the results obtained for the materials tested, which showed minimal airborne release of the nanoparticles in the tested coatings.