How to show dedication to silver - and get a stink-free workout
Michael DiRienzo, executive director of the Silver Institute, extols the virtues of silver at the gym, and other innovations.
Posted: Thursday , 07 Mar 2013
TORONTO (MINEWEB) -
He pushed the limits of his gym socks for silver. I take it as a sign the man is committed to his precious metal. He would be. He, Michael DiRienzo, runs the Silver Institute and had just given a talk on the last day of the PDAC conference - a major mining and exploration get together in Toronto - about innovative applications for silver.
It is, as you would guess, an obsession for the institute, to show how relevant silver is, and how society depends on it and not just for now dying photographic applications and still important photovoltaic uses.
In fact DiRienzo wore the same pair of gym socks three days in a row to show his dedication. Twice. One pair was a silver innovation. Textiles laced with silver thread that has well established antibacterial applications. Major names have started to sell such socks. On the second occasion he wore typical gym socks, sans silver. You might guess the results, here in his words.
"I've done my own testing myself," he said. "I've worn one pair with silver thread three days to the gym. While it's not that, healthy, they don't smell. And I wore another regular pair and it was like, 'Whoa!'"
These are the kinds of new applications that DiRienzo estimates could account for some 40 to 60 million ounces silver a year by 2015. They include a suite of similar applications aimed at combatting bacteria. Not just related to rank feet. Manufacturers are spinning silver into other kinds of exercise gear. In the medical industry it's going into bed sheets and other medical textiles. After outbreaks of illness in crowded locations such as college football gyms, cleaners wipe surfaces down with silver dependent applications. Bandages, and antiseptic creams, also have silver in them.
"It gives the consumer added confidence there isn't a lot of crap - maybe don't quote that - additional materials, that they don't want to put on their children," DiRienzo said.
There is ongoing wrangling over regulation of new silver applications in the U.S. though many products have already been approved. DiRienzo wants to see the regulatory regime accept silver on a more sweeping basis so that individual manufacturers with similar applications don't have to keep proving the safety of silver. It's a work in progress.
DiRienzo showed his commitment to silver, bodily, another way. He recounted a recent experience at the Silver Summit.
"There were women walking around with trays with silver shots." Yes, he was "drinking the silver." Some like to slam their silver back as colloidals to fortify their health. It's not yet approved in the U.S., so head north. It's legal in Canada.
Though it must be said, I didn't see any on offer at PDAC.