U.C. professor: No-smell products could affect environment

In the unknowns of emerging nanotechnology, researchers are wondering if the science behind trendy no-smell socks, underwear and hunting gear might create unintended consequences in the environment.

Just a few simulated washings, for example, can pull nanosilver out of new socks that rely on it for killing odors, researchers said Sunday. That action sets the substance free to travel into wastewater and perhaps into fertilizer.

That prospect underscores the importance of studying nanosized materials that are increasingly a part of clothing and medical, electronic, and other consumer products, said UC Davis professor Alexandra Navrotsky.

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