The value of environment in the controversy over antibacterial silver: A Swedish case study
Conference contribution, 2015

This study analyzes the argumentation used in the Swedish controversy over using silver as an antibacterial agent in consumer and healthcare products. The analysis is based on texts from the news media, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, municipalities, companies, and the Swedish parliament and government. Opponents argue that silver harms the environment, while proponents not only refute this, but even claim it to be beneficial. Refutation of opposing views and invocations of scientific evidence are overall argumentative strategies used by both sides of the controversy. These patterns of the controversy form a complex and multi-faceted context that can be expected to restrict citizen conceptualization, information seeking, participation, and deliberation.

antibacterial silver

complex cause–effect chains


environmental communication

environmental controversy


Max Boholm

University of Gothenburg

Rickard Arvidsson

Chalmers, Energy and Environment, Environmental Systems Analysis

Communication for the Commons: Revisiting Participation and Environment. Proceedings of the 2013 Conference on Communication and Environment, Participation Revisited: Openings and Closures for Deliberations on the Commons, held in Uppsala, Sweden at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, June 6-11, 2013


Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories

General Language Studies and Linguistics

Nano Technology

More information