Cloud over Samsung washers has Na-no silver lining

By Adam Coleman

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA: A Korean consumer watchdog has taken aim at Samsung’s Silver Nano anti-bacterial technology featured across the brand’s whitegoods and vacuums, suggesting the company’s flagship application of the technology, Silver Wash, has no superior sterilisation effect as the company claims in advertisements when compared with similar drum-type washers of LG Electronics, Daewoo Electronics and Whirlpool.

After an unfavourable laboratory test, the Korea Consumer Protection Board said it would notify the result to the Korean Fair Trade Commission, which could impose penalties on Samsung if the company is found to have exaggerated the technology’s benefits in its advertisements.

Samsung suggests the Silver Wash feature enables its washers to sterilise and kill 99.9 percent of bacteria by generating anti-bacterial silver particles.

“All four washing machines removed 99.9 percent of four kinds of germs in the laundry, even without using detergent,” said the consumer board in a statement.

Samsung hit back at the allegations claiming their products are still superior because they remove 99.999 percent of germs, higher than 99.9 percent ability of others.

The board also said that Samsung should not use the term “killing germs” in advertisements, as the machines are washing off the germs with water rather than killing them, and there is no evidence yet of the silver technology’s anti-bacterial properties.

According to Samsung product manager – digital appliances, Paul Lipscomb, Samsung has engaged not only overseas independent test labs but also a local independent test lab in Australia to carry out extensive testing on Silver Nano.

“It is misleading to conclude that the germs are simply being “washed off” by the agitating of the clothes, given that the anti-bacterial power of the silver ions have already been proven – by test labs independent to Samsung,” he said.

According to the Lipscomb, the Silver Wash ion generation process ensures that the silver is evenly spread throughout the clothing.

“The fact that the silver ions are embedded into the clothing means that ongoing protection is provided from bacteria growth for one month,” he said.

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