Assessment of nanosilver products – 24.11.2010
The review under the NanoTrust project summarises findings related to silver compounds and their use in nano state.
Silver has a rich history of use in medicine and hygiene due to its broad-spectrum toxicity to bacteria, fungi and algae. Silver has been used increasingly in its nano-particulate form, which, according to the review, exhibits an elevated toxic potential compared to traditional silver compounds. Products containing nanosilver are one of the most important classes of nanoproducts. Nanosilver coatings on medical devices are used in hospital settings. In addition, items containing nanosilver are sold as various consumer products. The widespread use of nanosilver to fight bacterial growth has raised concerns, as low levels of silver ions could encourage the growth of silver-resistant bacteria.
The study concludes that it cannot be excluded that the beneficial healthy microflora of the human skin could be damaged following the use of cosmetic products containing nanosilver ingredients. Some of these effects may also be relevant to workers in a health care setting or using theseproducts routinely at work. Read dossier n. 10
The NanoTrust project of the Institute of Technology Assessment of the Austrian Academy of Sciences is sponsored by the Federal Ministry for Transport, Technology and Innovation.
A summary overview on how nanoparticles enter the body and their potential health effects is also available