Exposure to ZnO/TiO2 nanoparticles affects health outcomes in cosmetics salesclerks

Ching Chang Lee, Yi Hsin Lin, Wen Che Hou, Meng Han Li, Jung Wei Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Concerns about the effects of nanoparticles (NPs) on human health are being raised by researchers because the risks of nanocosmetics like sunscreen are unknown. We explored the association between urinary oxidative stress markers and exposure of cosmetics salesclerks to 20 cosmetics that might contain titanium dioxide (TiO2)/zinc oxide (ZnO) NPs. We then recruited 40 cosmetics salesclerks and 24 clothing salesclerks and categorized them based on their exposure to ZnO and TiO2 NPs. Nineteen and 15 samples met the EU definition for TiO2 and ZnO nanomaterials, respectively. Participants with a higher co-exposure index of ZnO and TiO2 NPs had a significantly higher base level of urinary 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosin (8-OHdG) concentrations than the lower co-exposure group (5.82 vs. 2.85 ng/mL, p < 0.001). After potential confounding factors had been adjusted for, the TiO2 and ZnO NP co-exposure index was significantly positively associated with the urinary 8-OHdG base concentration (β = 0.308, 95% CI = 0.106 to 0.510) and the creatinine-adjusted concentration (β = 0.486, 95% CI = 0.017 to 0.954). Current evidence suggests that the likelihood of harm from using sunscreens containing nanoparticles might result in higher urinary 8-OHdG. However, our limited number and types of sample cosmetics might underestimate the risk.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6088
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Sept 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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