Widespread use of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) in consumer products has led to concerns about their potential impact on humans and the environment. In order to fully assess the impacts and release of ENMs from consumer products, this chapter provides an overview of the types of consumer products that contain nanomaterials, the potential release mechanisms of these ENMs from consumer products, and the associated human exposure. Information from two large datasets on consumer goods associated with ENMs, namely, the U.S.-based Project for Emerging Nanotechnologies from the Woodrow Wilson International Center, and the European-based National Institute for Public Health and the Environment of Netherlands, have been summarized. These databases reveal that silver, titanium, carbon-based ENMs are the major nanomaterials associated with consumer products. The presence and potential release of silver, titanium, carbon-based, and other nanomaterials from consumer goods available in published literature are also summarized, as well as the potential human exposure scenarios of inhalation, ingestion, dermal, and combination of all means. The prospecting of nanomaterial in water and biosolids provides further evidence of ENM occurrence, which could be linked to the use of nanomaterials containing consumer goods. Finally, this overview provides guidelines on toxicity studies, which calls for further efforts to analyze the biological effects of ENMs on human beings and their exposure pathways in consumer products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalAdvances in experimental medicine and biology
StatePublished - 2014


  • Carbon
  • Consumer products
  • Engineered nanomaterials
  • Nanosilver
  • Presence
  • Release
  • Titanium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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