What’s the environmental footprint of your nanosilver T-shirt?

SEM image of a textile fiber to which silver nanoparticles have been applied. (Source: Hohenstein Institute)

Although over 1000 kilograms of nanosilver is already being used each year in environmentally sensitive areas, extremely little is yet known about its effects on the environment. To answer these questions, a group of researchers from Switzerland, the UK and Germany, led by Stefanie Hellweg, a professor at the Institute of Environmental Engineering at ETH Zurich, have performed a cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment (LCA) to compare nanosilver T-shirts with conventional T-shirts with and without biocidal treatment.