Environmental Law

Suit Against EPA Claims Nanosilver in Textiles Needs More Testing


An environmental group has sued the Environmental Protection Agency seeking to block the EPA’s conditional approval of odor-fighting nanosilver in clothing and other textiles.

The Natural Resources Defense Council filed suit last week in the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the National Law Journal reports. A federal fungicide law allows challenges to EPA orders to be filed at the appeals level, the story explains.

Silver has been used in pesticides, but the NRDC says in a press release that the smaller nanosilver particles used to kill bacteria in textiles could harm human health and the environment. The group claims the smaller particles could more easily penetrate human organs and tissues.

NRDC program attorney Mae Wu says at her blog that the conditional approval means the EPA is allowing nanosilver on the market on the condition that the manufacturer provide toxicity data over the next four years. “EPA is giving this company a four-year free pass,” Wu says.

The company seeking to use nanosilver, HeiQ Materials, says the material is safely embedded in a solid silica matrix, according to the NLJ.

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