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July 30, 2015

NGOs Challenge Nanosilva’s Conditional Registration

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

On July 27, 2015, two petitions for review of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) second conditional registration of a nanosilver pesticide product were filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) filed a petition (Case Number 15-72308), as well as the Center for Food Safety (CFS) and International Center for Technology Assessment (ICTA) (Case Number 15-72312). Both suits ask the court to set aside EPA’s final order granting a conditional registration for a nanosilver-containing antimicrobial pesticide product named “NSPW-L30SS,” or “Nanosilva.” NRDC challenged EPA’s first conditional registration of a nanosilver product, which it granted to HeiQ in 2011. On November 7, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granted in part and denied in part NRDC’s petition for review of HeiQ AGS-20 and AGS-20 U (collectively, AGS-20). The court held that “substantial evidence” supported EPA’s decision to use the characteristics of toddlers rather than infants in determining whether AGS-20 placed consumers at risk. The court vacated EPA’s decision “insofar as it concluded that there was no risk concern requiring mitigation for short- and intermediate-term aggregate oral and dermal exposure to textiles that are surface-coated with AGS-20.”