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