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Silver Ions - New Standard In Medicine & Industry

Microbecide® Special Report

Silver Ions - The new standard in medicine and industry

Twenty-first century technology is giving us a new perspective of an old friend. Silver - in a new form, ionic silver - is emerging as the new antimicrobial wonder in dealing with viral, as well as bacterial and fungal conditions, in both medicine and industry.

Ionic silver is proving to be a remarkably effective health defense, not only against an enormous range of infectious diseases that are a very real part of our world today, but also against the increasing number of dangerous superbugs like MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus with its growing number of strains) and newly emerging pandemic threats, such as Influenza A (H1N1), bird flu (H5N1 virus) and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).

A Respected Germ-Fighter and More

Since early civilization, silver has been known to have exceptional antimicrobial properties. Long before the advent of modern antibiotics, which only attack bacteria and are becoming disturbingly impotent against resistant super germs, silver was a commonly-used germ fighter. Today, ionic silver is increasingly being recognized for its broad spectrum antimicrobial qualities and the fact that it presents virtually none of the side-effects related to antibiotics.

Ionic silver is friendly and non-toxic to the environment, safe for plants, pets and humans. A powerful tissue-healing agent, ionic silver applications currently represent one of the fastest growing sectors in wound care today. While safe and gentle to humans or animals, ionic silver is brutal and deadly to viruses, bacteria and fungi. Research in the United States at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri confirms studies that antibiotic resistant strains of pathogenic microbes cannot develop with ionic silver the way that they will with antibiotics.

The fact that silver is an effective agent against a very broad range of microorganisms is well established. Recent advances in the stabilization and delivery of ionic silver, together with the problems associated with antibiotics, are propelling ionic silver technology usage in a rapidly growing range of medical, dental, and commercial products. Illustrating how serious this trend is, in a report published in April 2006 by Chemical & Engineering News about a new method from Nexxion for applying ionic-silver coating to catheters, IV needles, and other medical devices, the chief technical officer of the company is quoted as saying, "To date, no pathogens have been able to survive contact with silver."

Ionic Silver Technology Usage Expanding

AcryMed, a nanotechnology company, recently announced FDA approval of its product SilvaGard, a silver-nanotechnology coating to protect medical devices from bacteria. The company stated, "Ionic silver has been long recognized and used as a highly effective antimicrobial."

Covalon is a manufacturer that has introduced an antimicrobial silver-ion releasing, collagen-based sheet dressing for wound care. In January 2006, the president of the company was quoted as having said, "In the wound dressings market, silver dressings growth outperforms all others in the category."

Curad and Johnson & Johnson bandages are now available to the consumer with ionic silver impregnated into the gauze so as to destroy dangerous microorganisms. In the medical field, another company, AgION has stated that, "Today silver is a key ingredient in new high-tech, powder coated finishes that hospitals and doctors' offices are using to protect walls, counters and other germ-gathering surfaces."

The list of ionic silver based products and applications is growing.

Samsung recently introduced a clothes-washing machine that they claim kills 99% of bacteria in cold water by using silver ions. Adidas and Polartec have licensed silver coated nylon fabric known as X-Static to incorporate germ-killing silver in athletic and outdoor clothing for their ability to kill odors and promote thermal properties.

Recently announced J-Wear is a new type of anti-bacterial, water-absorbent, odor-eliminating clothing designed for space missions by the Japanese space agency, Jaxa. Antistatic and flame retardant, the socks, T-shirts, trousers and leggings are made of cotton and polyester with a silver coating.

ARC Outdoors uses silver infused fabric from NanHorizon Inc. to produce antimicrobial socks for the U.S. military. SmartSilver is a brand of odor-eliminating underwear, stocking caps and gloves that kills bacteria on contact using ionic silver. ARC sells to Wal-Mart, Bass ProShops and Cabelas.

Slippers and pillows now have ionic silver compounds incorporated into the fabric to prevent odor-causing bacteria. Containers for food storage are now being impregnated with ionic silver releasing compounds to prevent bacterial growth that contributes to spoilage. Writing pens, bath mats, cutting boards, and door knobs are being coated with silver compounds to prevent bacteria from being spread.

Microbecide® Spray incorporates ionic silver technology for diverse use in personal, professional, commercial and industrial applications. Other areas of use include food contact surfaces, clinical work surfaces, medical wipes and water treatment applications.

Closed populations, such as prisons where stubbornly resistant staph infections are becoming increasingly problematic, are turning to ionic silver for a solution. Ionic silver technology is presently being utilized in 15 different correctional facilities in 9 states in the United States, including Oklahoma, Kansas, Tennessee, Ohio, Minnesota, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Florida and Texas.

Hospitals and other medical facilities use ionic silver technology in climate control system components and ductwork to prevent the transmission of bacteria that cause Legionnaires disease. Water treatment facilities that service hospitals use silver ion technology for clean water. Cruise lines are evaluating ionic silver technologies as a defense against ship-wide Norovirus (stomach virus) outbreaks.

And that is still just the tip of the iceberg.

The list goes on and on, and is growing faster every week.

Overcomes Bacterial Resistance

Although researchers have known of ionic silver's germ-fighting effects for decades, it wasn't until the beginning of the twenty-first century that scientists began to unlock the mystery of ions and understand why ionic silver worked so well. Germs have three vulnerable targets:
(1) the germ's outer membrane
(2) its internal components
(3) its delicate gene pool

When a microorganism becomes resistant to an antibotic agent, it has learned how to fortify the specific target that the agent attacks. Ionic silver attacks all three vulnerable areas simultaneously. This multimodal action is what makes Microbecide® Spray such an effective and broad spectrum health defense, even against resistant strains of microbes.

A press release by Curad quoted Philip M. Tierno, Ph.D., Director of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology at New York University Medical Center and author of The Secret Life of Germs (Atria Books 2004), as stating, "Silver is a natural antibacterial that works by killing bacteria, fungi and yeast by interfering with the metabolism necessary for respiration of these microbes. It fights germs with much less fear of developing antibiotic resistance."

A representative of AgION stated in a recent press release, "Silver has multiple mechanisms of action. Use of silver as an antimicrobial [agent] is therefore unlikely to promote antibiotic resistance."

A Growing Body Of Evidence

Ionic silver is often referred to as having "antimicrobial" qualities, rather than just "antibacterial" qualities. This is a very important distinction because many diseases that affect human beings today - Influenza A (H1N1), H5N1 (bird flu) and SARS if they should become pandemic in the future - all involve "viral" pathogens, not bacterial. And the medical community truly has nothing that will reliably combat viral pathogens.

In the United States, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency quotes on its website "[The EPA] believes based on available scientific information that currently registered avian influenza A products, when applied in strict accordance with label directions, will be effective against the H5N1 strain."

A study at the University of Arizona, in the US, showed ionic silver to be effective against the coronavirus that researchers use as the surrogate for SARS. Recently in Hong Kong, Ionic silver has proven to be very effective against the Avian Influenza A (ATCC VR-544, Hong Kong Strain) virus.

A 2003 study by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention found ionic silver to be highly effective against the human SARS virus.

A 2005 study out of the United States University of Texas suggested ionic silver would be effective against HIV-1, and researchers expected it would be shown effective against other viruses and bacteria as well. "We're testing against other viruses and the super bug (Methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus)," said Miguel Jose Yacaman, from University of Texas, Department of Engineering and one of the study's authors.

A 2009 evaluation by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Kasetsart University Kamphaengsaen Campus, Thailand found Microbecide® Spray completely deactivated the avian influenza A (H5N1) virus within ten minutes of contact.

Tests conducted in 2007 by independent laboratories in Frankfurt, Germany in the European Union demonstrated that Microbecide® Spray, "fulfilled European Standard EN1040 required log reduction (> 5 log / > 99.999% reduction) against Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans, Corynebacterium minutissimum and Escherichia coli."

Independent Nelson Laboratories in Salt Lake, Utah in the United States confirmed the kill of Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE) bacteria by an ionic silver complex within two minutes of contact.

In St. Paul, Minnesota in the United States, AppTec Laboratory Services verified "complete inactivation" of the Human Immunodeficiency type 1 Virus by an ionic silver complex in less than one minute of contact

The "antimicrobial" effect of ionic silver has long been recognized. Ionic silver is extremely broad spectrum when applied to bacterial, viral and fungal pathogens, including mold and yeast. Ionic silver is clearly recognized to be highly effective against essentially every known class of pathogen. Phrases like "antimicrobial" and "no pathogens survive" are intended to be quite broad in scope. And the mechanisms of action that make ionic silver effective are unique enough to support such claims.

Ionic Silver Stabilization Technology

Back 100 years ago, major pharmaceutical firms made silver products in the form of what is loosely referred to as "colloidal" silver, a process that did the job of delivering silver ions decently for its time. But after the advent of far more profitable antibiotics, silver fell out of favor.

In recent decades, colloidal silver has seen a resurgence in popularity in the alternative or natural medicine field, or when sold as a dietary supplement. Meanwhile, important advances in the field of ionic silver stabilization are rapidly rendering colloidal silver products obsolete. New, patented technologies in the stabilization of ionic silver and unique, innovative methods of delivery represent a major breakthrough in ionic silver technology.

Almost all ionic silver complexed products on the market today incorporate a technology to stabilize the silver ions making the product commercially viable. The delivery mechanism varies relative to the environment where the ionic silver is being delivered and to some extent, so too the stabilization methodology employed.

Our growing understanding of stabilization techniques and controlled delivery mechanisms has contributed greatly to the increase in the number of applications using ionic silver technology. The New York Times stated in a December 2005 article, "Silver, one of humankind's first weapons against bacteria, is receiving new respect for its antiseptic powers, thanks to the growing ability of researchers to tinker with its molecular structure."

The same article goes on to say, "But silver's time-tested - if poorly understood - versatility […] was overshadowed in the latter half of the 20th century by the rise of antibiotics. Now, with more and more bacteria developing resistance to antibiotic drugs, some researchers and healthcare entrepreneurs have returned to silver for another look. This time around, they are armed with nanotechnology, a fast-developing collection of products and skills that helps researchers deploy silver compounds in ways that maximize the availability of silver ions - the element's most potent form. Scientists also now have a better understanding of the weaknesses of their microbial adversaries."

Silver May Outshine the Threat of Bird Flu and SARS

Perhaps a possible solution to an Influenza A (H1N1) or SARS pandemic, if it were to develop, may already exist today in ionic silver technology based applications. And it may be the solution for a lot of things that really need an answer today.

Based upon the proliferation of products coming out in the medical field that use ionic silver, it is evident this is a technology that may prove to be the answer to not only MRSA strains, bird flu and SARS, but also for a wide range of infectious diseases that are very real and present threats to the health of the public today.

Using Microbecide® Spray as a health defense, a preventative or a treatment may very well prove to be a major stride in shifting the tide in our favor.


REFERENCES
Health Freedom News, Vol. 24, No. 3 , Summer 2006 By Herbert Slavin, M.D, Lauderhill, Florida.USA
"A Silver Bullet For Infections?," Bethany Halford, Chemical & Engineering News, April 17, 2006, Vol. 84, No. 16 at 35-36, APS Meeting News see also "Silver Bromide Shines In Bacteria-Fighting Coating," Bethany Halford, Chemical & Engineering News, Latest News – Nanotechnology, July 12, 2006
"New Nanotechnology Receives FDA Approval - Setting Stage For New Era In Battle Against Hospital Related Infections," December 12, 2005
"Nano Silver Fights Infections," August 1, 2005, © 2005 by United Press International

"Covalon enters into significant international distribution agreement for new antimicrobial and regular collagen-based wound dressings," Covalon Technologies, Ltd. Press Release, January 12, 2006
"SILVERCEL™ Antimicrobial Alginate Dressing Protects the Healing Environment With Silver, Johnson & Johnson News, April 13, 2004
"Samsung says washer kills bacteria in cold water," Reuters, March 23, 2006
"University Study Shows Ionic Silver Effective Against SARS; Supports Previous Research Findings on SARS Virus," BioPortfilio by AgION Technologies, June 13, 2005
"Study Shows Silver Nanoparticles Attach to HIV-1 Virus," Syeda Z. Hamdani, www.PhysOrg.com, October 14, 2005
"Silver Fights Germs Naturally," Press Release from Curad, October 19, 2004
"Old Curative Gets New Life at Tiny Scale," Barnaby J. Feder, The New York Times, December 20, 2005
"Final Report, AOAC Use Dilution – Carrier Confirmation", Bacteria: Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) ATCC #700698, Enterococcus faecium (VRE) ATCC #700221, Listeria monocytogenes ATCC #19111, Escherichia coli OH 157 ATCC #43888, Nelson Laboratories, Inc. 6280 South Redwood Rd, Salt Lake City, Utah 84123, USA, 10 Jan, 2002.
19 "Final Study Report, Virucidal Efficacy of a Disinfectant for Use on Inanimate Environmental Surfaces, Virus: Human Immunodeficiency Virus type 1, Strain HTLV-IIIB ", AppTec Laboratory Services, 2540 Executive Drive St. Paul, MN 55120, USA, December 20, 2001
"Ionic Silver Complex Designed for Antimicrobial Use in Humans Receives U.S. Patent," Invision International Health Solutions, Inc. Press Release, June 29, 2005
"Tulsa County Jail Eradicates Long-Standing Staph Problem: No New Cases in 5 Months With Use of Staph Attack Disinfectant" Lexdon Business Library, Feb 08, 2007
"Sensitivity Test for Killing the H5N1 Virus", Department of Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Kasetsart University, Kamphaengsaen Campus, Nakornpathom 73140, Thailand, January 16, 2006
Noble Biomaterials, Inc. 300 Palm Street, Scranton, PA 18505
NanoHorizons Inc. Technology Center, Suite 207, 200 Innovation Blvd. State College, PA 16803
"Technical Report No. AM 07/014, Determination of the antimicrobial activity of an I&I disinfectant containing Microbecide", Bacteria: Staphylococcus aureus ATCC #6538, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa ATCC#15442, Escherichia coli ATCC #10536, Corynebacterium Minultissimum ATCC#23348, Yeast: Candida Albicans ATCC#10231 Ciba Labs, Frankfurt, Germany, 03 Dec, 2007.


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