EDF Health

Selected tag(s): nanosilver

Sludging through the nano lifecycle: Caution ahead

Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

Researchers at Virginia Tech have identified and characterized silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) in the sewage sludge produced by an operating municipal wastewater treatment plant.  The study is notable in several respects:  It is the first time AgNPs have been detected in a field-scale study, one of a real-world operation representative of a real-world exposure scenario to boot.  It shows that silver can exist in wastewater treatment products as nanoparticles.  It indicates such particles may be most likely to partition to sludge under common treatment technologies.  And it suggests that silver may be chemically transformed in the course of wastewater treatment.

The study did not demonstrate that the AgNPs detected in the sludge originated from products containing such nanoparticles, as some news stories have suggested, although the authors indicate such a source "is likely."  But the findings have important implications for nano safety nonetheless.  Read More »

Posted in Nanotechnology / Also tagged , | Read 2 Responses

State-level nano regulation: Yes, indeed, the industry "should have seen it coming" – it caused it!

Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

I just read an interesting column by John DiLoreto, CEO of NanoReg, that appears online at Nanotechnology Now.  It's titled "We Should Have Seen It Coming: States Regulating Nanotechnology."  It nicely describes the important role states play in advancing environmental policy and regulation – especially when the feds are asleep at the wheel.  And it also gives a neat rundown of the various state actions aimed at nanomaterials that are underway.

But, search as I might, I couldn't find a single acknowledgment in Mr. DiLoreto's latest column – or in his earlier related column titled "What Drives the Regulation of Nanomaterials?" – of the role the nanotechnology industry itself played in bringing all of this on itself.

That's quite an omission, in my view, given that the industry's actions (or, more accurately, the lack thereof) played a central role in getting us to where we are (or, more accurately, aren't) today on nanotechnology oversight.  That includes driving states to feel they had to step in to fill the federal void.   Read More »

Posted in Health Policy, Nanotechnology, Regulation, States / Also tagged , , , , | Read 2 Responses

Regulating nano-silver as a pesticide

John BalbusCal Baier-Anderson, Ph.D., is a Health Scientist.

In May 2008, the International Center for Technology Assessment (ICTA) submitted a petition to EPA requesting that it regulate nano-silver used in products as a pesticide under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).  The petition calls on EPA to take the following specific actions:

  1. Classify nano-silver as a pesticide.
  2. Determine that nano-silver is a new pesticide and require its registration as such.
  3. Analyze the potential risks of nano-silver to human health and the environment.
  4. Take enforcement actions against nano-silver-containing products being sold illegally without EPA approval under FIFRA. Read More »
Posted in Health Policy, Nanotechnology, Regulation / Also tagged , , | Read 8 Responses

Nano's Rapid Transit System

John BalbusCal Baier-Anderson, Ph.D., is a Health Scientist.

In 2004, Gunter Oberdorster and colleagues demonstrated that upon inhalation, ultrafine particles, the dimensions of which are measured in nanometers, can move from the nasal passages of rodents to the brain via a specialized nerve called the olfactory bulb.  The evolutionary purpose of the olfactory bulb is to relay information about odors directly and rapidly from the nose to the brain.

The extent to which rapid transit via the olfactory bulb is a significant potential route of exposure to engineered nanomaterials is still an open question.  But two new papers add support for the relevance of this intriguing exposure pathway, raising important questions regarding the safety of inhaled nanoparticles.

Read More »

Posted in Emerging Science, Health Science / Also tagged , | Read 3 Responses

Nano Down the Drain

John BalbusCal Baier-Anderson, Ph.D., is a Health Scientist.

The proliferation of nanoscale materials in consumer products is impressive:  nano titanium dioxide and zinc oxide in sunscreen, buckyballs in face creams, and nanosilver in socks are but a few examples of what is currently available for purchase.  But they make me wonder:  what happens when the nanomaterials in or released from these products are washed down the drain?   Read More »

Posted in Health Science, Nanotechnology / Also tagged , | Read 3 Responses

Bacterial Resistance to Silver (Nano or Otherwise)

John BalbusCal Baier-Anderson, Ph.D., is a Health Scientist.

A recent article posted on scienceline includes a claim that bacteria cannot develop resistance to silver, which is widely used as an antimicrobial.  That assertion is not only false, but also dangerous. Read More »

Posted in Emerging Science, Health Science, Nanotechnology / Also tagged | Read 4 Responses