[Pharmwaste] Silver Spoons and Hand Sanitizer

Sue Dayton sdayton at swcp.com
Fri Oct 2 10:06:11 EDT 2009

Now THAT's a novel idea....using copper and silver instead of triclosan?

Sue Dayton
Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League
North Carolina Healthy Communities Program
Saxapahaw, NC 27340
(336) 525-2003
sdayton at swcp.com

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
-  Martin Luther King Jr.



-----Original Message-----
From: pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us
[mailto:pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us] On Behalf Of Ed Gottlieb
Sent: Friday, October 02, 2009 7:22 AM
To: pharmwaste at lists.dep.state.fl.us; Chuck Lie
Subject: Re: [Pharmwaste] Silver Spoons and Hand Sanitizer

Hi Chuck,

I did an experiment in high school, putting different metals in the center
of petri dishes that had been inoculated with bacteria.  There were no
growth rings around the metals, a small one for copper, larger for silver,
and very large for mercury.

Massive amounts of copper salts have been widely used in wood preservative
chemicals since they are quite toxic to microorganisms.
Silver nano particles are now, controversially, being used as an
anti-bacterial additive to clothing.

No doubt copper or silver containing door knobs would cut down on bacterial
survival.  How significant that effect would be over the short time period
between knob uses is an important question.  If it is significant effect,
copper would probably have a good economic return.  Silver is quite a bit
more expensive and I'm not at all certain what a cost/benefit analysis would

Thankfully, no one is proposing a sanitizer with mercury, at least as far as
I know.

Ed Gottlieb
Pretreatment Coordinator
525 3rd Street
Ithaca, NY  14850
(607) 273-8381

>>> "Chuck Lie" <Chuck at terra-associates.com> 10/1/2009 4:02 PM >>>
A year or two ago a colleague mentioned that copper had antibiotic
properties and if used on door knobs would cut the spread of infections
in hospitals.  I asked her if it was silver she was referring to.  The
Wikipedia article on silver says that there is research into this.
Would silver plated door knobs help?  I have heard that being born with
a silver spoon in your mouth was not necessarily a sign of being rich as
much as a sign the baby would be healthier.  

Or has further research shown side issues besides a possible cost and
maintenance issue with the use of silver in skin contact areas like door
knobs and handles.

Charles R. Lie, LEG, LHG

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