Consultation on nano-silver launched

The Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) is consulting the public on its draft opinion on safety, health and environmental effects of nano-silver.

As the use of nano-silver in consumer products, food packaging and medical devices is on the increase, the Committee has been asked by the European Commission to investigate the role and effects of nano-silver with regard to its role in formation of antimicrobial resistances. In 2011, BEUC and ANEC published an inventory of consumer products which claim to contain nano-silver.

While it is often difficult to find out if consumer products really contain these innovative materials or are just claiming to contain them, BEUC and ANEC observed an increase in products referring to nano-silver or to antimicrobial properties. Hence, we welcome that SCENIHR is investigating the safety of these novel materials. We are concerned that, while many products are already on the market, SCENIHR observed a severe lack of data to assess all safety aspects.