Magic silver bullet or...?

June 2012 - A leaflet published by the European consumer organisations ANEC and BEUC puts new focus on the use of nano silver in consumer products. The organisations have found 117 products that contain nano silver or use nano silver in their marketing.

ANEC’s and BEUC‘s new leaflet:“Nano – very small and everywhere – A technological magic silver bullet or a serious safety risk?”.

ANEC and BEUC have been monitoring the use of nanomaterials in consumer products since 2009. This year they have focused exclusively on the use of nano silver as they had observed a growth of claims related to the 'antimicrobial' benefits of using nano silver.

In total 117 products were found in various categories, including cosmetics and products for babies.

ANEC and BEUC share the Danish Consumer Council’s and the Ecological Council’s skepticism about the increased use of nano silver. We do not yet know enough about the safety of using nano silver in consumer products, and we do not know enough about the relation between nano silver and antibacterial resistance.

While the potential risks of nano silver are being examined, e.g. by the Commission’s Scientific Committee (SCENIHR), ANEC’s and BEUC’s inventory shows that more and more nano silver products are entering into the market.

DTU Environment is now going through the inventory to see if any new products should be included in the Danish database.