What you need to know about silver salts. Nanosilver need to know. What makes silver in our outdoor clothing? Polygiene in the test: The odor killer is this goodMore and more sports and outdoor clothing is being treated with silver – for example, with Polygiene. But why? What is Polygiene and what is silver doing in our clothes?? And is silver dangerous on our skin? We look into these and other questions.
Anyone who has ever been on a trekking tour lasting several days knows the problem: You sweat and after a while you can smell it. This is not only unpleasant for oneself, sometimes the hiking partners also react to the unpleasant odor. Since the space in the backpack is limited, you will have to put on the stinking shirt every morning. Or you buy outdoor clothing treated with silver in advance. The use of special silver technologies is supposed to reduce the formation of odors. What does silver in sports-. Outdoor clothing?Silver certainly sounds classy, but what's silver doing in my T-shirt or baselayer?
Pure sweat does not smell. Only bacteria in the sweat ensure that an unpleasant odor spreads over time. These bacteria metabolize certain fats, proteins and sugars in sweat and excrete malodorous substances. Silver in clothing has an antimicrobial effect. This means that the proliferation of odor-causing bacteria is inhibited by the silver. The result: The T-shirt doesn't stink (as quickly).
But not all silver is the same. Manufacturers use different technologies. The Swedish manufacturer Polygiene, for example, uses the silver salt silver chloride, which is recycled from industrial waste, in its products. The silver chloride is permanently incorporated into the textile fibers, similar to paint. Polygiene promises that the silver treatment will last the lifetime of the garment and will not wash out in the washing machine. Only a few milligrams of silver salt are needed for a garment, such as a baselayer, to permanently protect it from unpleasant odors. As an illustrative example, Polygiene states that the amount of silver contained in a finger ring is sufficient to equip about 5000 items of clothing with silver salts.
So-called "nanosilver" works in a similar way.
Is nanosilver dangerous for the environment??
Nanosilver refers to the smallest silver particles that have a diameter between 10 and 100 nanometers. Figuratively, this means that the size ratio of a nanoparticle to a tennis ball is about the same as the size ratio of a tennis ball to the earth. When bacteria absorb nanosilver they die. Nanosilver also prevents bacteria from spreading in textiles and spreading unpleasant odors.
Studies have shown, however, that nanosilver washes out of clothing quite quickly and ends up in wastewater. There it still has an antimicrobial effect. Also kills beneficial bacteria. In the sewage treatment plants, the nanosilver then gets into the sewage sludge, part of which is used as fertilizer in agriculture. In the fields, the silver particles then threaten the population of so-called nitrifiers. These are bacteria that convert ammonia into nitrite, which plants need to grow. In short, nanosilver can make farmland permanently infertile.
In general, current data is insufficient to assess all health risks and all risks to the environment.
What is the difference between silver salt and nanosilver??
Silver salts are all silver compounds that contain so-called halogens (chlorine, bromine, iodine, fluorine). Most often, manufacturers treat outdoor clothing with silver chloride. This is insoluble in water. Does not wash out of clothing. If silver chloride gets into the drain due to mechanical abrasion – for example in the washing machine – it reacts quickly with sulfur, which can be found in the waste water as well as in the air. The resulting silver sulfide is far less harmful to the environment than pure silver.
Nanosilver also reacts to some extent with sulfur, which can render it harmless. However, the degree of sulfurization depends on the size of the particles. Larger nanosilver particles may not sulfurize completely or only slowly. Are so long dangerous for any kind of microorganisms.