Silver nanoparticles and health: Seven things you should know


Are sliver nanoparticles good or bad for you? To help answer this, we thought we’d round up seven facts about silver nano that may surprise you One: Silver nanoparticles are released from silverware. Drink water from a silver jug
or eat with a silver spoon and you are drinking and eating silver
nanoparticles. As silverware has been around since Roman times we’ve been doing this for a couple of millenia now and of course if you were born with a
silver spoon in your mouth you’ve probably been doing it more than most. Two: People have been intentionally dosing themselves with silver nanoparticles for over a hundred years. Colloidal silver –
suspensions of silver nanoparticles in a liquid – were popular before modern antibiotics
came along Their use has become widespread again in
recent years as a cure for well if you read the claims almost
anything apparently. There is no clear evidence that drinking colloidal silver is good for
you, but evidence never stopped people from self medicating before. Three: Silver nanoparticles are pretty good
at killing microbes but it’s the silver ions that they
slowly release that do most of the damage. This means you don’t necessarily need nanoparticles make products that kill
bugs using silver for instance, the Michigan company Crypton makes commercial fabrics used everywhere
from Hyatt Hotels to McDonald’s that use silver ions to inhibit bacterial growth and
products using X-Static silver technology are widely used
by athletes, the military, medics, and others.
Both companies use silver as an antibacterial agent but as far as can be told neither
company uses nanoparticles. Four: It’s hard for pathogens to develop resistance to silver nanoparticles because they interfere with microbes in multiple different ways. However, indiscriminate use of silver as
an antibacterial agent could still increase the chances a
resistance developing which isn’t great news if you’re relying on it
to protect particularly vulnerable patients. Five: If you’re exposed to enough silver it’ll turn your skin blue, a
condition called on Agryria. This is cosmetically interesting but not fatal. In fact it’s thought that
Royal were originally called Blue Bloods because you guessed it those silver
spoons turned their lips delicate shade royal blue. Six: Silver nanoparticles aren’t likely to
be much more dangerous than other forms of silver in the human body
as it’s the ions that cause the most damage. Although it’s still possible that research
may throw up some surprises nanoparticles for instance might find it
easier to get to sensetive places like inside cells before dissolving amd
releasing their payload of silver ions. And we may still find that the
nanoparticles trigger the body’s immune system in ways
that ions do not. That said a couple of millenia of imbibing
silver nanoparticles hasn’t thrown up any obvious risk red
flags yet. Seven: In contrast silver is bad news for the
environment. We learned this with environmental
contamination from the photographic film industry. Silver nanoparticles were at least as
harmful as the same amount of silver in any other form – possibly more so if the
nanoparticles gets places other forms of silver cannot. This has got
some people wondering whether putting silver everything from socks
and kids toys to bed sheets and carpets is a bad idea. To learn more about silver nanoparticles check out the blurb below and as always
please do join the conversation in the comments.

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