Can e-waste help prevent bacterial infections?
According to Discovery News, scientists have found a way to turn the electronic waste from LCD screens into an anti-microbial substance that destroys bacteria such as Escherichia coli and some strains of Staphylococcus aureus.
Polyvinyl-alcohol (PVA) is both a key element in LCD televisions and a chemical compound compatible with the human body. The scientists involved had to cool, then heat the PVA, dehydrate it with ethanol, and add silver nanoparticles to enhance the anti-microbial properties.
The final product can be used in hospital cleaning solutions to reduce infections, and possibly be used in pills and dressings designed to deliver drugs to certain parts of the body.
Although more work still needs to be done to determine whether the silver particles are safe for human health applications, it is good news that scientists have found a positive use for this kind of e-waste.
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