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Nanoparticles in air

What is nanoparticle concentration?

Nanoparticles are classified into three categories: natural, “anthropogenic” and manufactured nanoparticles. In ambient atmospheres (office, housing, …), the average concentration of nanoparticles is in the region of 103 to 5x104 part.cm-3 (for particles having a median diameter less than 2x102 nm). But these values vary widely in time and space.

Various types of manufactured particles [A.D. Maynard et al., Nanotoxicology 1 (2007) 26-41].

  • homogeneous composition: compact, linear or complex,
  • composed of several surface or volume substances,
  • aggregates or agglomerates, homogeneous or composed,
  • mono or multi function particles whose the behavior depends on the environment and the context.

The current production level of nanomaterials is quite different from industry to laboratory. About 4,2x105 tones of nanoparticles have been entering the market in France in 2014.