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Common Single-Use Consumer Plastic Products Release Trillions of Sub-100 nm Nanoparticles per Liter into Water during Normal Use

Published

Author(s)

Christopher D. Zangmeister, James Radney, Kurt D. Benkstein, Berc Kalanyan

Abstract

This study demonstrates that commonly used consumer products such as single-use food grade nylon bags and hot beverage cups lined with low-density polyethylene release nanometer-sized plastic particles at number densities >1012 L–1 when exposed to water. The number of particles released was a function of the initial water temperature (high temperature vs ambient) for each of the tested materials. Mean particle diameters were between 30 and 80 nm with few particles >200 nm. The number of particles released into hot water from food grade nylon was 7 times higher when compared to single-use beverage cups. On a particle number density basis, particles released into water from a single 300 mL hot beverage cup equate to one particle for every seven cells in the human body in a size range available for cellular uptake.
Citation
Environmental Science and Technology
Volume
56
Issue
9

Keywords

Nanoparticle, water quality, food safety

Citation

Zangmeister, C. , Radney, J. , Benkstein, K. and Kalanyan, B. (2022), Common Single-Use Consumer Plastic Products Release Trillions of Sub-100 nm Nanoparticles per Liter into Water during Normal Use, Environmental Science and Technology, [online], https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.1c06768, https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=932999 (Accessed April 23, 2024)
Created April 20, 2022, Updated February 28, 2024