Photo: Ryan McVay/Getty Images A:Harvard and MIT researchers did recently publish a study that found exposure to silver nanoparticles, found in clothing, toothpaste, toys and other products, can cause substantial DNA damage. But before I get to your main question, lets look at why that news mightve frightened you. A nanoparticle is a microscopic particle comparable in size to viruses. Like viruses, Canadian researchers wrote in a paper on nanoparticle toxicity , some nanoparticles can penetrate lung or dermal (skin) barriers and enter the circulatory and lymphatic systems of humans and animals, reaching most bodily tissues and organs, and potentially disrupting cellular processes and causing disease. The finding that the nananoparticles cause DNA damage is of particular concern because if damaged DNA is not repaired properly, Cancer Research UK explains , then the cell may get the wrong instructions and start to multiply out of control, which can lead to cancer. Silver nanoparticles are added to all sorts of products from toys to textiles for their antimicrobial properties. (Bacteria cause the stink in your clothes; antimicrobial agents kill it.) While fixed nanostructured materials, like those found in microchip Max Workouts electronics, are believed to be benign, detachable nanoparticles like those found in some cosmetics and textiles are linked to adverse health effects. Sweat can dislodge nanoparticles in your workout clothes, so they fall into the potentially toxic category, which leads to your question: Can you get a harmful dose of silver nanoparticles from your workout clothes? Unfortunately, its impossible to give you a straightforward answer, as researchers are still figuring out what constitutes a harmful dose.