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23rd December 2013, Boennigheim

Effects of nanoparticles in textiles

Hohenstein Institute, a leading provider of technical testing and certification for apparel and textile products, will present a webinar entitled ‘Nanotechnology, Human Health, and the Environment: Answers to the Questions Surrounding Silver Nanoparticles’ on 15 January 2014.

The webinar will feature the final results of a multi-year evaluation of the effects of nanoparticles on humans and the environment.

TechnoTox project

Hohenstein Institute has played a leading role in the emerging science of nanotoxicology, which studies the impact of nanoparticles on biological systems.

The webinar will focus on results from the subsequent phases of the two studies. © Aidan (Flickr)

Since 2010 Hohenstein has been a partner in two large-scale, inter-disciplinary German studies designed to quantify the safety of nanoparticles for people and for the environment. The TechnoTox project assessed risks to human health of nano-functionalised textiles including silver nanoparticle (Ag-NP) enhanced fabrics. The UMSICHT study focused on the impact of silver nanoparticles on the environment if they wash out or rub off of treated products.

Safety standards

Industry, government agencies, and research organisations like Hohenstein participated in the three-year projects. According to the Institute, the resulting body of data is the most comprehensive information ever generated on nanoparticles and it is expected to guide best practices in industrial applications and influence regulations and safety standards.

 During the initial phase, Hohenstein conducted a broad scale wear test with Ag-NP enhanced antimicrobial apparel. Hohenstein determined that while the silver nanoparticles acted effectively upon bacteria introduced via perspiration, the nanoparticles had no effect on the skin’s naturally occurring protective bacteria and caused no irritation.

Next stage

The webinar will focus on results from the subsequent phases of the two studies. In the next phase of the TechnoTox project, scientists evaluated any additional risks posed to the human body by use of Ag-NP enhanced textiles.

Hohenstein’s cellular modelling was used to understand the effect on lung cells if nanoparticles were inhaled, the effect on skin cells if nanoparticles were absorbed, and the effect on organ cells if nanoparticles were ingested. 

In the next segment of the UMSICHT study, Hohenstein assessed any environmental risks posed by Ag-NP enhanced textiles. Hohenstein studied nanoparticles in textile plant effluents and in home wash water and evaluated the impact on aquatic ecosystems.

www.hohenstein.com

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