(Phys.org)—Silver nanoparticles can have a severe environmental impact if their utilisation in clothing continues to increase. If everyone buys one silver nanoparticle-treated sock a year, the silver concentration in waste water treatment plant sludge can double. If the sludge is subsequently used as fertilizer, the silver can cause long-term damage to agricultural land. These are the results of a study conducted by Chalmers researcher Rickard Arvidsson.
Silver Nanoparticles May Adversely Affect Environment Feb. 27, 2013 — In experiments mimicking a natural environment, Duke University researchers have demonstrated that the silver nanoparticles used in many consumer products can have an adverse effect on plants and microorganisms...found in textiles, clothing, children's toys and pacifiers, disinfectants and toothpaste...field studies show adverse responses of plants and microorganisms following a single low dose of silver nanoparticles..."