Nanosilver: Should the precautionary principle form the basis for regulatory policy?.
Biotechnology companies and manufacturing leaders producing consumer and medical
products are using engineered nanosilver so prolifically and at such a fast rate that
scientists and regulatory agencies have not been able to appropriately assess their
safety. Of the nano materials currently in use, silver is used in the most products.
Nanosilver has much higher reactivity than ionic ... read moreor metallic silver. Its nano form
enables it to pass through cell membranes to reach tissues and the organs at a faster
rate and more completely. It may cause chromosomal aberration and DNA damage. Its
widespread use can lead to development of microbes that exhibit various forms of
antimicrobial resistance. Nanosilver is persistent in the environment and toxic to some
aquatic species and can bioaccumulate in some species. It affects plant growth and
biological treatment of wastewater by inhibiting nitrification. The thesis evaluated
potential human health and environmental risks associated with expanded use of
nanosilver based on review of current scientific data obtained through the literature
and by conducting interviews of nanosilver researchers and other experts. This thesis
also assessed current initiatives for nanosilver oversight and regulations in the US and
internationally. This thesis identified research and policy needs and recommended
initiatives and oversight that would provide a precautionary approach for nanosilver
Thesis (M.S.)--Tufts University, 2013.
Submitted to the Dept. of Civil Engineering.
Advisor: Anne Marie Desmarais.
Committee: David Gute, and Heather Tenney.
Keywords: Environmental health, Public health, and Public policy.read less