The EU has published an easy-to-read factsheet about silver nanoparticles. This gives a layman’s guide to the uses of silver nanoparticles, and their possible toxicity to both humans and the environment.
Silver nanoparticles have significant antimicrobial resistance and therefore can be used in lower doses than other antimicrobials. The document points out, correctly, that nanoparticulate silver is only a small proportion of total silver in the environment. As developments in assessing the toxicity of nanosilver and ionic silver are made, it may become more important to discriminate between the 2 forms of silver in the environment, which will require significant input from analytical chemistry to develop appropriate methods.
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