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Open AccessArticle

Characterization of Airborne Particles Emitted During Application of Cosmetic Talc Products

1
Environmental Health Science and Research Bureau, HECSB, Health Canada, 50 Colombine Drive, Ottawa, ON K1A 0K9, Canada
2
Earth and Environmental Sciences Department, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada
3
Construction Research Center, National Research Council of Canada, 1200 Montreal Road, Ottawa, ON K1A 0R6, Canada
4
Existing Substances Risk Assessment Bureau, HECSB, Health Canada, 269 Laurier Ave W., Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1A 0P8, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(20), 3830; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16203830
Received: 6 September 2019 / Revised: 25 September 2019 / Accepted: 9 October 2019 / Published: 11 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Science and Engineering)
A pilot study was undertaken to characterize the concentration, duration and particle size distribution of the talc cloud that forms in the personal breathing zone (PBZ) during application of certain talc-containing cosmetics. Multiple direct-reading instruments were employed to simultaneously monitor PM4 concentrations (particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter < 4 µm; mg/m3) at different distances from each of three subjects while they applied talc products. Results indicated that the purpose and method of applying the talc product, combined with behavioral and physical differences amongst subjects, all strongly influenced airborne talc concentrations and the duration of the cloud. Air concentrations of talc in the PBZ averaged around 1.0 mg/m3, and the duration of exposure varied from less than one minute to more than ten minutes. The real-time monitors captured the occasional formation of secondary clouds, likely caused by resuspension of talc particles from skin or other surfaces. Measurements of aerosolized baby powder, face powder, and two adult body powders indicated that the median aerodynamic diameter of the talc cloud ranged from 1.7 to 2.0 µm. These direct-reading approaches were valuable for providing detailed characterization of short duration exposures to airborne talc particles, and will be useful to support future exposure assessments of talc and other powders in consumer products. View Full-Text
Keywords: inhalation exposure; talcum powder; magnesium silicate; particulate matter; consumer products; short-term variability inhalation exposure; talcum powder; magnesium silicate; particulate matter; consumer products; short-term variability
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Rasmussen, P.E.; Levesque, C.; Niu, J.; Gardner, H.D.; Nilsson, G.; Macey, K. Characterization of Airborne Particles Emitted During Application of Cosmetic Talc Products. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3830.

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