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A recent study by researchers at National Nanotechnology Center (NANOTEC) in Thailand has provided the data on detecting silver released from antibacterial fabric products using artificial sweat as a model to represent the human skin environment.
"The amount of silver released from fabrics into artificial sweat was dependent upon the initial amount of silver coating, the fabric quality, pH and artificial sweat formulations" said Dr Rawiwan Maniratanachote, head of Nano Safety and Risk Assessment Lab. "The study could be useful to evaluate potential human risk when exposed to silver nanoparticles from textile materials."
Application of silver nanoparticles in textile materials is one of the most interesting applications to improve the quality of the products, including wound dressings and anti-bacterial clothes. Meanwhile, there is also increasing concern on the safety of these nanoproducts.
To address public concern, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published a notice for public review and filed a petition, open to comment by concerned parties. That petition requested EPA to classify and regulate all products containing nanoscale silver as pesticides by taking regulatory actions under the Federal Insecticides, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), as well as analyze the potential human health and environmental risks of nanoscale silver. These issues will certainly affect many stakeholders and, therefore, need public response and comment.
The researchers reported their work in a paper published by Particle and Fibre Toxicology. Collaborators on this study included the faculty of Science at Srinakharinwirot University, Thailand.
Dr. Rawiwan is currently working on research projects related to human health and environmental impact of air-borne nanoparticles.
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