Environmental Protection

EPA Releases Nanoscale Silver Draft Report

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released for public comment draft case study of engineered nanoscale silver (nano-Ag) as possibly used in disinfectant sprays. While the document is organized around a comprehensive environmental assessment framework, which in EPA's description "combines a product life-cycle perspective with the risk assessment paradigm," it doesn't draw conclusions about potential health risks.

"Instead, it is intended to be used as part of a process to identify what is known and unknown about nano-Ag in a selected application and can be used as a starting point to identify and prioritize possible research directions to support future assessments of nanomaterials," according to EPA.

Comments about the draft may be submitted via www.regulations.gov; the docket number is EPA-HQ-ORD-2010-0658.

EPA's timeline indicates the agency conducted an internal review of the draft in April and an interagency review in July. The next steps are a half-day public meeting Oct. 12 to obtain comments, an Oct. 12-14 workshop to prioritize research areas based on the document, a peer review conducted late this year, and a final version of the case study to be released in February 2011.

 

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