Common household products containing nanoparticles – grains of engineered material so miniscule they are invisible to the eye – could be contributing to a new form of indoor air pollution, according to a Rutgers study.

In a study published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, a team of Rutgers researchers found people walking through a space, where a consumer product containing nanoparticles was recently sprayed, stirred residual specks off carpet fibers and floor surfaces, projecting them some three to five feet in the air. A child playing on the floor nearby would be more greatly affected than the adult, experiments showed.

“If an adult is walking in a room, and steps on some of these deposited particles, we found that the particles will be re-suspended in the air and rise as high as that person’s breathing zone,” said Gediminas Mainelis, a professor in the Department of Environmental Science at Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, who led the study. “A child playing on the floor inhales even more because the concentrations of particles are greater closer to the ground.” To read the full story.