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November 9, 2011

EPA Seeks Information Concerning Discharges of Nanosilver from Industrial Manufacturing

Lynn L. Bergeson

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in an October 26, 2011, Federal Register notice its final 2010 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan, which includes a request for comment and information for its 2011 annual reviews. EPA requests information on a number of topics, including discharges of nanosilver from industrial manufacturing. EPA cites nanosilver’s use as an active pesticide ingredient, an antimicrobial in fabric; a preservative in textile products, and coating in drums in washing machines. EPA states that, since many of these uses have the potential to create a source of silver in wastewater discharges, it “is interested in gathering as much information as possible on the fate, transport and effects of nanosilver on the aquatic environment and human health.” Comments on EPA’s 2011 reviews are due November 25, 2011.

EPA is soliciting data on the manufacture, use, and environmental release of silver materials, including nanosilver. EPA requests information on:

  • Raw silver products, such as colloidal nanosilver;
  • Intermediates such as polymers or fibers embedded with silver, nanosilver, or silver compounds; and
  • End products, such as silver-embedded textile and plastic products, or appliances with nanosilver coated surfaces.