Nanosilver sounds like a superhero to me, but apparently its deadly and the EPA wants to halt its sale. Rick Weiss of The Washington Post reports:
More than 200 products - including odor-resistant socks, baby bottles and clothes-washing machines - are today laced with specks of nanosilver, part of a larger nanotechnology revolution fueled by the fact that substances gain novel chemical properties when they are honed to a few billionths of a meter.The EPA is really fired up. They've recently proposed new limits on lead in the air. Matthew L. Wald of The New York Times is on it:
But nanosilver's deadly effects are not specific to harmful bacteria. Studies indicate it can harm aquatic organisms. And with the exception of one narrowly crafted regulatory rule that focuses on washing machines, the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] has not addressed the potential risks of this new form of pollution, said George Kimbrell, staff attorney with the Washington-based International Center for Technology Assessment, which is spearheading the petition effort.
"EPA must stop avoiding this problem and use its regulatory authority to fulfill its statutory duties," Kimbrell said in a statement, adding in an interview that nanosilver is used in some stuffed animals and children's clothing.
The petition asks the agency to stop the sale of products containing nanosilver and regulate the chemical as a pesticide, which would require toxicity studies and risk assessments to measure environmental and human health impacts.
Air, however, is no longer the most common source of major exposure to lead, which can cause I.Q. loss, kidney damage and other serious health problems. In most places, water and lead paint are more troublesome sources.We live in a toxic world; from the air, water, and soil to the food we eat and products we buy. For more, check out DiseaseProof’s Toxins category.
Lead emissions in the air have dropped by more than 97 percent in the last three decades, because the United States banned lead as an additive in gasoline. That step was taken to allow cars to have catalytic converters, which cut the ingredients of smog, and reduced lead in the air as a side benefit.
Still, high lead concentrations exist in scattered places with iron and steel foundries, copper smelters, mining operations, waste incinerators and concrete plants, according to Lydia Wegman, an expert at the Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards. In addition, she said, gasoline with lead is still used in small airplanes.
Depending on the level at which the new standard is set, officials can identify two dozen counties that would be out of compliance. But they cannot be certain how many other counties may fail because the network of monitoring stations has been cut back.