Nanosilver in Period Products

www.womenvoices.org

In recent years, the use of nanosilver as an antibacterial agent has greatly increased. Nanosilver is very small (microscopic) particles of silver. It is now commonly incorporated into athletic clothing to make it “antibacterial” in an effort to reduce odor. It has also been incorporated into certain period care products including absorbent menstrual underwear, and some menstrual pads (generally those pads marketed as containing an “anion strip” or other “ion technology”). It should be noted that while nanosilver is the most commonly used antibacterial agent in these products, some manufacturers do not specifically disclose that they are using silver, instead merely claiming that their products are “antibacterial”. The purpose, according to manufacturers, is to provide antibacterial properties to these products with the aim of decreasing the growth of “harmful” and/or odor-producing bacteria. Unfortunately, there are several adverse human health and environmental risks and concerns associated with nanosilver use. There are also several specific reasons that nanosilver may be especially inappropriate to use around sensitive vaginal and vulvar tissue.

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