SAFEGUARDS | Softlines NO. 130/15

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it has issued a registration for a nanosilver-containing antimicrobial pesticide product named "NSPW-L30SS", or "Nanosilva".

Tiny particles of silver, known as nanosilver, can be embedded directly into plastics, fabrics and other materials to fight stains and odors. According to the Agency, the product Nanosilva (or NSPW-L30SS) will be used as a non-food-contact preservation to protect plastic and textiles from odor and stain causing bacteria, fungi, mold and mildew. Articles that may be treated with Nanosilva include household items, electronics, sports gear, hospital equipment, bathroom fixtures and accessories. In textile products, nanosilver is intended to be used as an antimicrobial agent that slowly releases silver ions that inhibit the growth of bacteria that cause odor, stains and other damage to textiles.

Nanosilver has long been known as an anti-bacteria agent used in killing germs and bacteria in commercial and consumer goods, therefore, the Agency has required pesticide products with nanosilver as an active ingredient be registered with the Agency before placing in the products on the market. 

The registration [1] for "Nanosilva" is based on its evaluation of the hazard of nanosilver. After reviewing exposure data and other information on nanosilver from the applicant and data from scientific literature, EPA found that plastic and textiles treated with this agent release exceedingly small amounts of silver and, therefore, will not cause unreasonable adverse effects on people, including children, or the environment.

The EPA also notes that it is requiring the applicant to generate additional data during the period of conditional registration to address areas of uncertainty.

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