Monday, May 3, 2010

Nanosilver Migrates Out of Fabric in Study

Beyond Pesticides, May 3, 2010:

Researchers have found that silver nanoparticles can migrate out of fabrics that have been treated with the particles for its antibacterial properties when it is exposed to simulated perspiration, raising concerns about human exposure to nanosilver through skin absorption. This is the first study to use artificial sweat to mimic the conditions of human skin, however it is not clear if the silver materials in sweat would be absorbed through human skin.

Silver has long been used as an antiseptic to reduce bacterial growth on skin, however recent advances in nanoscience (the science and manipulation of chemical and biological materials with dimensions in the range from 1-100 nanometers) led to the development of silver nanoparticles. Due to their small size, these nanoparticles are able to invade bacteria and other microorganisms and kill them, and silver nanoparticles (or nanosilver) are now widely impregnated into a wide range of consumer products, including textiles such as socks, sportswear, underwear and bedding, vacuums, washing machines, toys, sunscreens, and a host of others.[...]

The researchers conclude that as nanotechnology becomes increasingly prevalent in consumer products, the potential for exposure to nanoparticles increases. Yet, little is known about how these silver materials may interact with people’s bodies. There is concern that the the tiny particles may be more toxic than other, larger-sized and more traditional types of silver compounds, as the smaller particles could be more easily absorbed and distributed throughout the body.

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