Saturday, May 03, 2008

A Silver Coating In The Fight Against Microbes

by Monica Heger - May 2nd, 2008 - Scientific America

A new technique in paint making could soon make almost any surface germfree. Researchers have made paint that is embedded with silver nanoparticles known for their ability to kill bacteria and other microbes, in the hope that hospitals will coat their walls and countertops to fight infection.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one million people a year contract bacterial infections in hospitals. Silver itself is an excellent bacteria fighter, and in nanoparticle form it is even more potent at killing microorganisms. So far it has not shown any adverse effects in humans.

Some scientists, however, are concerned that silver nanoparticles may not be as harmless as they appear.

In all the time that I have been reading Scientific America and blogging, I think this is the first article that I have posted from that great magazine. In any event I am posting this one because of the lack in the article of any mention of what is the most obvious use for this new material. If it really resists bacteria as described, why would the very first use of it not be for door handles, door knobs, toilet flushing handles, handles on hot and cold water faucets and handles on food dishes that get passed around our family tables? The greatest transfer of disease from one human to another is by these necessary contact points. It could eliminate most colds and flu.

Interesting article about something that could make a real difference in the transmission of disease.


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