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EPA to Regulate Nanoproducts Sold As Germ-Killing - WaPo

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Eugene Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-23-06 12:41 AM
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EPA to Regulate Nanoproducts Sold As Germ-Killing - WaPo
EPA to Regulate Nanoproducts Sold As Germ-Killing

By Rick Weiss
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 23, 2006; Page A01

The Environmental Protection Agency has decided to regulate a large class
of consumer items made with microscopic "nanoparticles" of silver, part of a
new but increasingly widespread technology that may pose unanticipated
environmental risks, a government official said yesterday.

The decision -- which will affect the marketing of high-tech odor-destroying
shoe liners, food-storage containers, air fresheners, washing machines and
a wide range of other products that contain tiny bacteria-killing particles
of silver -- marks a significant reversal in federal policy. It also creates
an unexpected regulatory hurdle for the burgeoning field of nanotechnology,
which involves the creation of materials just a few ten-thousandths the
diameter of a human hair.

Until now, new products made with tiny germ-fighting particles of silver did
not have to pass muster with regulators. That has concerned environmentalists
and others who think that the growing amount of nanosilver washed down
drains may be killing beneficial bacteria and aquatic organisms and may also
pose risks to human health.

Most nanomaterials -- which by definition are on the scale of a billionth of a
meter -- will remain outside the purview of the new EPA decision. But experts
said the move is the first federal restriction to focus largely on nanotechnology,
an emerging engine of technological innovation that promises major advances
in materials science and medicine.

-snip-

Full article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...
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Mythsaje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-23-06 01:09 AM
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1. They'd best get on top of this technology
People have NO idea what its limitations may be...
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