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IPFS News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

Release of silver from nanotechnology-based products for children

 Not counting the sometimes alarmist reports from environmental and consumer groups (see for instance: "Groups file legal action for EPA to stop sale of 200+ nanosilver products"), the ongoing discussion among scientists about the potential environmental and health effects caused by silver nanoparticles in consumer products ranges from the cautionary (see for instance: "Silver nanoparticles used in consumer products may adversely affect environment") to the mollifying (see: "Barely any nanosilver from consumer products in the water"). Contributing to an incomplete and confusing picture, in the literature, silver nanoparticles are claimed as nontoxic or toxic depending on their size, concentration and surface functionalization (read more: "Surface chemistry of silver nanoparticles and cell death"). Assessing the potential effects of nanomaterials on environment and human health consists of two distinct aspects: To what degree are nanoparticles released from products; and how and to what degree do the released nanoparticles affect organisms?