Detection and Sizing of Ti-Containing Particles in Recreational Waters Using Single Particle ICP-MS

Arjun K. Venkatesan, Robert B. Reed, Sungyun Lee, Xiangyu Bi, David Hanigan, Yu Yang, James F. Ranville, Pierre Herckes, Paul Westerhoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Single particle inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (spICP-MS) was used to detect Ti-containing particles in heavily-used bathing areas of a river (Salt River) and five swimming pools. Ti-containing particle concentrations in swimming pools ranged from 2.8 × 103 to 4.4 × 103 particles/mL and were an order of magnitude lower than those detected in the Salt River. Measurements from the Salt River showed an 80% increase in Ti-containing particle concentration over baseline concentration during peak recreational activity (at 16:00 h) in the river. Cloud point extraction followed by transmission electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray analysis confirmed presence of aggregated TiO2 particles in river samples, showing morphological similarity to particles present in an over-the-counter sunscreen product. The maximum particle mass concentration detected in a sample from the Salt River (659 ng/L) is only slightly lower than the predicted no effect concentration for TiO2 to aquatic organisms (< 1 μg/L).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-126
Number of pages7
JournalBulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Exposure
  • Nanoparticles
  • Recreational waters
  • River
  • Single particle inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (SP-ICP-MS)
  • Titanium dioxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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