A team of US researchers have discovered that the likelihood of nanoparticles in cosmetics being inhaled is high and have called for legislation requiring manufacturers to report the use of engineered nanomaterials in their products.

In their paper, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, the scientists concluded that the use of nanoparticles in cosmetics has “a strong potential to result in inhalation exposure to single and agglomerated nanoparticles, and that this potential should be quantitatively described by exposure assessment studies.”

Over 1300 nanotechnology-based consumer products are currently listed in the Nanotechnology Consumer Products Inventory. However, the actual number of nano products out there is likely to be much larger.

The paper raises concerns regarding the possible health risks due to the expansion of the nanotechnology-based consumer products market. The scientists pointed out that the potential for exposure is still poorly understood and potential health effects are unknown, impeding the development of appropriate consumer safety regulations and guidelines.