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California court revokes US EPA approval of nanosilver product

(Nanowerk News) A federal appeals court in California has revoked the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA's) conditional approval of a nanosilver product used in a wide range of consumer products – including a variety of household, office, plastic and textile products, such as clothing, cell phones, computers, and office supplies – as an antimicrobial agent.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit concluded that the EPA had failed to show that its conditional approval of the product 'Nanosilva' was in the public’s interest.
Specifically, the The panel vacated the EPA's conditional registration of the pesticide NSPW-L30SWS – an antimicrobial materials preservative that uses nanosilver as its active ingredient – because the EPA failed to support its requisite finding that NSPW was in the public interest under 7 U.S.C. § 136a(c)(7)(C).
The full text of the court ruling is avaialable here (pdf).
The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act governs the sale, use, and distribution of pesticides, and the Act requires that pesticides generally must be registered with the EPA before being sold or distributed. The EPA may grant a temporary, conditional registration if it first determines that use of a pesticide was in the public interest.
The panel held that substantial evidence supported the EPA’s findings that NPSW has lower application and mobility rates than conventional-silver pesticides.
The panel held, however, that substantial evidence did not support the EPA’s finding that use of NPSW was in the public interest because it had the “potential” to reduce the amount of silver released into the environment.
The panel held that the EPA’s finding was based on two unsubstantiated assumptions: first, that current users of conventional-silver pesticides would replace those pesticides with NSPW; and second, that NSPW would not be incorporated into new products to the extent that such incorporation would actually increase the amount of silver released into the environment.
The panel concluded that without evidence in the record to support the assumptions, it could not find that the EPA’s public-interest finding was supported by substantial evidence as required by the Act.
Source: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
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