During the launch, when the rocket is itself yet to attain a stable orbit, the exhaust from the launch vehicle is directed approximately in the opposite direction of its velocity. So, there is no chance for the exhaust particles to attain stable orbit around Earth.
But once orbit is attained by a satellite, it uses its onboard propulsion systems for altitude control and/or to maintain proper orientation. Further, during deorbit burns, the exhaust particles are fired prograde whereas the spacecraft's motion is retrograde. In these cases, there is a high possibility that the exhaust particles attain a stable orbit around Earth. Evidence for this can be inferred from the fact that Soyuz spacecraft after undocking fires its engines for the orbit lowering burn only when it is at a large distance from the International Space Station (ISS) in order to avoid contamination of ISS's components by exhaust particles. There is also a possibility that during retrograde propulsion manoeuvers, the particles being fired prograde are being given additional velocity i.e., orbital velocity plus the velocity due to the burn. So eventually, they might enter a higher orbit.
What will happen to the rocket exhaust particles fired by spacecrafts? Will they attain a stable orbit around the Earth as I suggested, or will they eventually re-enter Earth's atmosphere? Are there any current studies on orbital pollution due to chemical rocket exhausts (and not space-debris)? What are the steps taken to reduce this contamination?
Even though the size of particles is small, I think we must take these into consideration as they might have huge impacts on the future of space travel (For example, contamination of solar arrays, optical surfaces, etc.)