EPA Releases Nanoscale Silver Draft Report

It cautions, however, that this case study of its use in disinfectant sprays, now released for public comment, does not draw conclusions about potential health risks.

EPA on Friday released for public comment a draft case study of engineered nanoscale silver (nano-Ag) as possibly used in disinfectant sprays. While the document is organized around a comprehensive environmental assessment framework, which in EPA's description "combines a product life-cycle perspective with the risk assessment paradigm," it doesn't draw conclusions about potential health risks.

"Instead, it is intended to be used as part of a process to identify what is known and unknown about nano-Ag in a selected application and can be used as a starting point to identify and prioritize possible research directions to support future assessments of nanomaterials," according to EPA.

Comments about the draft may be submitted via www.regulations.gov; the docket number is EPA-HQ-ORD-2010-0658.

EPA's timeline indicates the agency conducted an internal review of the draft in April 2010 and an interagency review in July 2010. The next steps are a half-day public meeting Oct. 12 to obtain comments, an Oct. 12-14 workshop to prioritize research areas based on the document, a peer review conducted late this year, and a final version of the case study to be released in February 2011.

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