2006 UPI
EPA To Regulate Silver Nanoparticles
Fri Nov 24, 2006 16:48
 

EPA To Regulate Silver Nanoparticles

05:50 PM, November 24th 2006

by News Staff

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to require environmental safety guarantees from makers of products containing silver nanoparticles. The tiny particles are used in a wide range of products like shoe liners, food containers and even washing machines to kill bacteria and eliminate odors. Critics say the particles, when released into the environment, can destroy microscopic organisms including beneficial bacteria. The EPA decision this week was a change of course from previous decisions that nanoparticles do not require regulation. A number of substances, including carbon and gold, behave differently when split into particles a tiny fraction of the width of a human hair. While the EPA decision on silver does not affect other nanomaterials, it is the first on any of them. "Nanotechnology can mean so many different things," said Andrew Maynard of the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. "Specific examples like this will gradually help us make clear decisions as to whether existing regulatory approaches are adequate."


2006 UPI

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