If you think that your Silver-nano washing machine efficiently kills the germs existing in the dirty laundry, then you would have to perhaps think once again. Boffins are considering that these very washing machines could perhaps be injurious to human cells and other organisms. In a joint research by Korea University and the Korea Institute of Science and Technology, the exact reasons as to why silver nanoparticles are so powerful and efficient in killing germs, have been revealed.
The findings can indeed be worrisome as it is believed that the microbe particles can damage the cells of animals and plants exposed to them. Silver is known for its antiseptic properties and is considered as a useful tool in the prevention and treatment of sepsis and infections caused by antibiotic-resistant microorganisms such as MRSA. People of several cultures use the metal for storing food items and even making cutlery and crockery out of it thanks to the antiseptic properties it includes.
Companies such as Samsung Electronics and LG endorse the idea that silver nanoparticles kill bacteria.
In 2003, Samsung introduced the Silver Nano (Silver Nano Health System), a trademarked name of an antibacterial technology which uses silver nanoparticles in washing machines, vacuum cleaners, air conditioners and refrigerators.
Korea Times quotes Hwang Ee-taek, a co-author of the paper, which was published in March, as stating, “Firms like Samsung and LG Electronics started from the idea that silver-nanoparticles kill bacteria and they actually do. But scientists are still unsure of whether they are safe for humans. This field of research is still at a very rudimentary stage.”
The American government will order a ban on the sale of products that employ the technology from next year onwards, if the companies using it do not provide sufficient proof of its safety. However, on the other hand, the South Korean government has no intentions on regulating the products. For a fact, at present the research is in its basic stage and a lot more needs to be done before full proof evidence is discovered, resulting in the banning of such products. Guess things would get clearer in a year’s time.