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Sweaty Exercise Increases Nanoparticle Release from Textiles

July 16, 2013

According to a Swiss study, silver nanoparticles can migrate from clothing to human sweat, resulting in the potential for exposure through the skin.

Researchers tested four commercial items of clothing containing titanium dioxide for sun protection and antimicrobial silver nanoparticles. Sweat caused more nanoparticles to migrate from the fabrics than washing solutions, probably because of the high concentration of chloride ions in sweat that can stabilize silver as silver-chloro complexes, suggest the researchers.

Compared with other exposure pathways, dermal exposure to titanium dioxide was estimated to be minor. For silver nanoparticles, the picture is "more complex."

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