Potential exposure of German consumers to engineered nanoparticles in cosmetics and personal care products

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


  • Christiane Lorenz
  • Natalie Von Goetz
  • Martin Scheringer
  • Matthias Wormuth
  • Konrad Hungerbühler

The rapid increase in the number of consumer products containing engineered nanoparticles (ENP) raises concerns about an appropriate risk assessment of these products. Along with toxicological data, exposure estimates are essential for assessing risk. Currently, cosmetics and personal care products (C&PCP) represent the largest ENP-containing consumer product class on the market. We analyzed factors influencing the likelihood that ENP-containing products are available to consumers. We modelled potential external exposure of German consumers, assuming a maximum possible case where only ENP-containing products are used. The distribution of exposure levels within the population due to different behavior patterns was included by using data from an extensive database on consumer behavior. Exposure levels were found to vary significantly between products and between consumers showing different behavior patterns. The assessment scheme developed here represents a basis for refined exposure modelling as soon as more specific information about ENPs in C&PCP becomes available.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)12-29
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 01.03.2011

    Research areas

  • Chemistry - Adolescent, Adult, Body Weight, Consumer Product Safety, Cosmetics, Environmental Exposure, Female, Germany, Humans, Male, Manufactured Materials, Models, Biological, Models, Chemical, Nanoparticles, Risk Assessment, Soaps, Sunscreening Agents