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EPA Ruling Could Allow Controversial Nanoparticles in Pesticides

An antimicrobial chemical used to treat textiles is expected to get EPA approval, despite concern over the potential health risks associated with its microscopic parts, known as nanoparticles, attorneys say. The EPA recently extended to March 30 the public comment period on a proposed registration by Georgia-based Poly-Technical Solutions LTD for Polyguard, which uses nanosilver particles to protect textiles from microbes and bacteria. The agency is also evaluating whether those products should be regulated under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Nanosilver is part of a family of particles that are less than 100 nanometers across. As a comparison, a human hair is approximately 80,000 to 100,000 nanometers wide. The agency’s preliminary conclusion is that Polyguard’s nanosilver ingredient meets FIFRA standards for use as a textile preservative. But scientists, as well as public health and environmental groups, have raised concerns about the potential risks of nanoparticles in consumer products. The particles are so tiny, they can penetrate cell membranes, damaging DNA and increasing the risk of cancer, according to the American Association for Cancer Research.  Read more....



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