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Nanotechnology particle paint kills drug-resistant bacteria

The Australian site InfoLink brings word of a new nanotech product from Australia-based company Nanovations: a silver nanoparticle-based paint which will kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The product is meant for hospitals and other facilities that have serious problems with infections caused by such bacteria. (Credit: Meridian)

One problem not mentioned in the story is disposal and the entry of these particles into the natural environment, a question which has arisen before with silver nanoparticles. The product data sheet (PDF) says:

Do not allow to enter drains or watercourses. Handle disposal of waste material in manner which complies to local, state, province and
federal laws and regulations.

But just above that it says:

Clean tools and hands immediately after use with soap and water.

Where do they expect that soap and water (and paint) mixture to go? Proper handling of nanomaterials is going to take some major focus. However, it is good to hear that there’s some way to get rid of antibiotic-resistant bacteria — those “super bugs” are serious trouble and will continue to get worse. Eventually we’ll have more sophisticated nanosystems to use in battling them, but for now, there’s silver nanoparticles. —Christine

3 Responses to “Nanotechnology particle paint kills drug-resistant bacteria”

  1. Harry Says:

    Of course you don’t want any paint going into drains. This got nothing to do with the particles itself. These are general handling rules for water based paints.

    Cleaning tool and hands immediately with water are also general rules and knowledge.
    If you don’t clean your tools you need to buy new ones and on hands, well you have to brush
    your skin very hard to get dry paint off.

    This is all common sense but needs to be repeated in technical data sheets and MSDS.

    When the particles are mixed with the paint components they don’t exist as free floating nanoparticles any more. They become permanent part of a larger structure, even in the liquid form.

    It is impossible to separate the particles from the paint components just by adding water
    and wash them out. If someone believes this is possible, I recommend going directly to the US patent office.
    It is not that simple to create nano-particles because the strong van-der-Waals forces will keep them attached to one or the other surface and prevent them from being released into the air or skin due to they became too heavy or to big.

    Silver is widely used to prevent scumming water storage tanks. It is used to sterilize water aboard NASA’s Space Shuttle program. Many airlines companies routinely use colloidal silver for in-flight water purification.

    Colloidal silver is not listed as a toxin by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Poison Control Center. Likewise, the Food and Drug Administration has no regulations regarding the use of colloidal silver as an antibacterial in any form or method.

    The only known toxic side effect resulting from a build-up of silver in the bloodstream is known as “Argyria;” a bluish-grey discoloration of the skin. Medical science recognizes Argyria as specifically caused by intensive long-term exposure to silver compounds, such as silver nitrate, silver sulfate, silver sulfadiazine, etc., not from micro-particles of silver.

    To date, no medical study conducted on colloidal silver has indicated that it poses a threat to human health but i can find 1000s of case studies about superbugs killing people.

  2. Rob Brown Says:

    I think that this is a great idea who’s time is here. As far as the disposal of these materials; has anyone explored the idea of using disposable tools instead of cleaning? also has anyone considered the possibility of incineration (which is typically used for biomedical waste) as a means of disposal and lastly concerning hand washing after use….what about wearing gloves when you administer it. The gloves get disposed of and then you wash your hands. Yes I do work in the medical profession.

  3. birthday gifts for boys Says:

    It is impossible to separate the particles from the paint components just by adding water

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