Health implications of engineered nanoparticles in infants and children

Song Tang, Mao Wang, Kaylyn E. Germ, Hua Mao Du, Wen Jie Sun, Wei Min Gao, Gregory D. Mayer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: The nanotechnology boom and the ability to manufacture novel nanomaterials have led to increased production and use of engineered nanoparticles (ENPs). However, the increased use of various ENPs inevitably results in their release in or the contamination of the environment, which poses significant threats to human health. In recent years, extraordinary economic and societal benefits of nanoproducts as well as their potential risks have been observed and widely debated. To estimate whether ENPs are safe from the onset of their manufacturing to their disposal, evaluation of the toxicological effects of ENPs on human exposure, especially on more sensitive and vulnerable sectors of the population (infants and children) is essential. Data sources: Papers were obtained from PubMed, Web of Science, and Google Scholar. Literature search words included: “nanoparticles”, “infants”, “children”, “exposure”, “toxicity”, and all relevant cross-references. Results: A brief overview was conducted to 1) characterize potential exposure routes of ENPs for infants and children; 2) describe the vulnerability and particular needs of infants and children about ENPs exposure; 3) investigate the current knowledge about the potential health hazards of ENPs; and 4) provide suggestions for future research and regulations in ENP applications. Conclusions: As the manufacturing and use of ENPs become more widespread, directed and focused studies are necessary to measure actual exposure levels and to determine adverse health consequences in infants and children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-206
Number of pages10
JournalWorld Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 10 2015


  • developmental effects
  • human exposure
  • maternal-fetal transmission
  • nanopediatrics
  • nanotoxicity


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