Report urges review of hazards of silver nanoparticles in consumer
9 February 2010
The UK Advisory Committee on Hazardous Substances has produced
Report on Nanosilver, recommending that government bodies fund
a thorough review of the hazards and exposure of silver nanoparticles as
an immediate priority.
Nanosilver is used in a wide array of products, including cosmetics,
fabrics, toothpaste, toothbrushes, kitchen surfaces, plasters and
medical equipment. Little research has been conducted on its effect on
humans, animals and the environment.
The report says that there are questions regarding bacterial silver
resistance: "silver resistance, and possible
increased antibiotic resistance due to nanosilver usage is an area of
limited or no knowledge but has the potential to be deleterious to human
health and should be investigated". It says that there are also "indications
that toxicity is apparent in the nanosilver form and that there is a
specific ‘nano-effect’" and that research is urgently needed.
It recommends 12 specific areas where funding councils should support
research, including the products used, the main routes of exposure, the
concentrations of nanosilver in the environment and how it changes once
in the environment.
The report is available from the UK Department of Environment, Food and
Rural Affairs website: