Issue Date: May 12, 2008
EPA Urged To Act On Nanosilver
The International Center for Technology Assessment (CTA) and several other nonprofit consumer, public health, and environmental groups filed a legal petition on May 1 demanding that EPA regulate nanosilver as a pesticide. The groups claim that more than 260 products containing nanosized silver particles are being illegally sold in the U.S. Nanosilver is showing up in washing machines and other household appliances, clothing, cutlery, food containers, personal care products, and even children's toys, according to the petition. Many of these products, the petition noted, make broad claims such as "eliminates 99% of bacteria" or "kills approximately 650 kinds of harmful germs and viruses." Nanosilver particles are highly efficient germ killers, and as such they should be classified as pesticides, says George Kimbrell, a staff attorney at CTA. If a product claims to contain nanosilver that imparts antimicrobial properties, then that product must go through EPA's pesticide registration and licensing process, he says. "Making antimicrobial claims without doing that is illegal," he explains.
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