Using chances and avoiding risks.
Silver has an antibacterial effect. This has been known for many centuries. This antibacterial effect is caused by silver ions that accumulate on surfaces.
Consequently, surfaces of silver jewellery, coins, cutlery or crockery are not colonised by bacteria. This also applies to silver-coated items and materials, for instance silver-coated yarn.
Due to the enormous surface area of nanosilver, considerably less silver needs to be employed for the same silver ionisation and thus the same antibacterial effect.
Therein lie the immense chances particularly for the environment. However the safe management of new materials also includes the examination of possible risks.
Silver is an ubiquitous material that nature has dealt with for millions of years. Furthermore, few materials exist that have been utilised more extensively across time than silver (e.g. in the form of jewellery, crockery or coins). Possible risks associated with the use of nanosilver are primarily linked to the size of the particles. For this reason, an entire series of research projects, examining the risks associated with nanoparticles, are being undertaken nationally and internationally.
The OECD, for instance, uses our material as a reference material for nanosilver and it is analysed by 50 research centres worldwide. The Federal Environmental Agency and the Federal Office of Risk Assessment are involved in these research projects.
Other manufacturers will have to compete with this standard. Yet it is our belief that, until results of these studies are available and possible risks associated with nanoparticles have been studied thoroughly, nanoparticles should not be introduced into the environment at will. Thus to safeguard against the emission into the air and the environment, we ensure that that our nanosilver is bound in a hydrous suspension during processing.
Nanoparticles integrated in synthetics and varnish are bound firmly and are no longer released. No further nanoparticles are produced by abrasion or mechanical pressure.
Many manufacturers offer products with free nanoparticles, for instance sunscreens with TiO2 particles.
We would like to inform our partners and customers that we will refrain from the integration of our nanosilver into products such as shoe disinfectants, toothpaste, skin creams, food and other products that include unbound nanoparticles, until the current risk assessment studies are concluded.