Issue Date: February 6, 2012
Group Sues Over Nanosilver Approval
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has filed a lawsuit against EPA for approving the use of the nanosilver product AGS-20 in textiles such as those found in clothing and baby blankets. The environmental group asserts that EPA gave Switzerland-based HeiQ approval to market textiles containing AGS-20 without requiring the company to provide complete safety data. EPA granted the approval last December, under the condition that HeiQ conduct several toxicity studies within four years. Such studies include occupational exposure tests and stability tests to determine whether nanosilver particles are released from products that contain AGS-20. “EPA gave this company a four-year free pass to sell an inadequately tested product,” says Mae Wu, program attorney in NRDC’s health program. Nanosilver is an antimicrobial agent and therefore must be registered with EPA as a pesticide. AGS-20 is the first nanosilver product to receive EPA’s approval as a pesticide.
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