Issue Date: December 12, 2011
EPA Approves Nanosilver Pesticide
EPA has approved the use of HeiQ AGS-20, a nanosilver-based antimicrobial product that will be incorporated into textiles such as those used in socks, sportswear, undergarments, linens, tarps, and awnings. AGS-20, produced by the Switzerland-based company HeiQ Materials, is the first product that contains nanosilver as an active ingredient to be approved by EPA as an antimicrobial under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide & Rodenticide Act. Several products currently on the market contain nanosilver, but they are not approved by EPA as antimicrobials under the federal pesticide law and therefore cannot make antimicrobial claims. As a condition of approval, EPA is requiring HeiQ to submit new toxicity data, including occupational exposure scenarios and stability tests to determine whether nanosilver particles are released from textiles that contain AGS-20. The company is required to submit the data to EPA within four years. In its decision document, EPA stated that the use of AGS-20 is “in the public interest” and “will not cause unreasonable adverse effects on the environment” during the time it takes HeiQ to generate the required data.
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