Petition Seeks Pesticide Classification of Nanoscale Silver

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is taking comments until Jan. 20 on a petition filed by the International Center for Technology Assessment, the Center for Food Safety, Greenpeace, and others that asks for the sale of nanoscale silver products to be prohibited. They seek its classification as a pesticide, formal pesticide registration of all products containing it, and analysis of the potential human health and environmental risks of nanoscale silver. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0650 may be submitted via www.regulations.gov. The contact for further information is Nathanael R. Martin of the Field and External Affairs Division, EPA Office of Pesticide Programs, phone 703-305-6475, e-mail martin.nathanael@epa.gov.

Other organizations that petitioned for the classification include Friends of the Earth; the Center for Environmental Health; the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition; and Consumers Union. "The petitioners note the rapid increase in the number of products containing manufactured or engineered nanoscale materials," EPA's notice states. "They further point out that scientists have identified that nanoscale materials can have fundamentally different properties from the non-nanoscale or bulk forms of the same compounds, and that these unique properties may pose new environmental and human health risks.

Additionally, the petitioners review EPA's procedural history with respect to nanotechnology and conclude that the agency has not provided adequate regulatory oversight for this emerging technology."

The petitioners want manufacturers to be required to register nanoscale silver products as pesticides pursuant to the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Acts (FIFRA) and immediate statutory and regulatory action taken to prohibit the sale of nanoscale silver products, classifying them as illegal pesticide products with unapproved health benefit claims. "In this regard, the petition claims that the nanoscale silver products currently on the market are in clear violation of FIFRA," according to the notice, which is signed by Debra Edwards, director of the Office of Pesticide Programs.

Download Center

  • Your Guide to Environmental Metrics that Drive Performance

    Translating sustainability into action starts with implementing the right metrics to assess your environmental risk and performance. Learn how to design metrics that improve your decision-making process and drive enterprise performance.

  • Unpacking ESG: 6 Questions You Were Too Afraid to Ask

    Environmental and Sustainability experts from Arcadis and Cority answer 6 of the most pressing questions EHS professionals have about getting started with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting.

  • 5 Keys to Best-in-Class Chemical Management

    Running a safe chemical program is challenging and complex: from knowing what's on-site to proper handling and disposal - all while navigating regulatory changes. Learn the best ways to mitigate chemical risk, get the most value out of your data, and gain buy-in for a chemical management solution.

  • Streamline Your Air Emissions Management

    See how consolidating all your emissions management functions into one centralized system can help you streamline your operations, more easily maintain compliance, and achieve greater time and cost savings.

  • A Crash Course in Creating the Right Environmental Scoring System

    Learn how to develop the right environmental scoring system so you can easily benchmark performance across all your facilities and gain a holistic view of your environmental programs.

  • Industry Safe