Silver is widely used for its antibacterial activity in medical and consumer products because of its broad range of activity and lower toxicity compared to other bactericides. More and more products use silver as nanoparticles because it has a better bactericidal activity, and therefore lower amounts may be applied. Are these nanoparticles safe for your health and for the environment? Could microorganisms become resistant to the effects of silver?
On 13 June 2014, the European Commission and its non-food Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) have published the final opinion on Nanosilver: safety, health and environmental effects and role in antimicrobial resistance.
This opinion is concerning risk assessment, i.e. the determination of quantitative or qualitative value of risk related to a concrete situation and a recognized threat (also called hazard). Risk management considerations are outside the scope of this opinion.