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Nanotechnology & Health
a collection of articles about nanomaterials and health
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Beyond Pesticides Daily News Blog » Study Reveals Toxic Nanoparticles Persist in Food

"The scientists note that, once ingested, nanoparticles can pass into the blood and lymph system, circulate through the body and reach potentially sensitive sites such as the spleen, brain, liver, and heart. Nanosilver’s presence in clothing and cosmetics provides another potential route of exposure. A recent study revealed that athletic wear impregnated with nanosilver can cause the substance to seep into a person’s skin through one’s sweat. A 2009 study showed that washing these types of nanosilver-impregnated textiles resulted in an unknown spread of the substance into the environment. Due to its small size, nanosilver is often not filtered out by conventional wastewater treatment plants. After entering the environment, past studies show nanosilver can have devastating impacts on wildlife, including deformities in fish and immune suppression in earthworms.

 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been criticized by scientists and consumer and environmental groups for its role in regulating emerging nanotechnology. A 2013 National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) report provided a scathing account of EPA’s “conditional” registration of nanosilver, which the agency approved under the assumption that its use would reduce the overall burden of conventional silver in the environment. However, despite its novel antibacterial properties, the material did not undergo a full range of required tests, and there is no labeling system that would alert consumers to the presence of this largely untested substance in consumer products. A 2012 industry newsletter placed EPA’s delay over nanotechnology regulation on White House officials in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Richard Denison, PhD, senior scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund explained, “My understanding is that there is a view in some circles in the White House that they do not want to stigmatize nanomaterials nor stifle the technology even by requiring the reporting of information that EPA needs to make judgments as to whether there are risks.”"

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EHP – Nanosilver: Weighing the Risks and Benefits

EHP – Nanosilver: Weighing the Risks and Benefits | Nanotechnology & Health | Scoop.it

"NRDC lawyer Catherine Rahm ... begged to differ with the [EPA's] methods. In the January hearing, she argued that the agency record shows infants are more likely than any other subset of children to chew on fabrics that could contain the pesticide, and that if the agency were to recalculate its risk assessment based on the body weight of a 1-year-old, nanosilver concentrations in HeiQ’s product could result in potentially harmful exposures."

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EPA Lets Pesticides on the Market Untested | OnEarth Magazine

EPA Lets Pesticides on the Market Untested | OnEarth Magazine | Nanotechnology & Health | Scoop.it

"The agency is abusing a legal loophole to let products like nanosilver be used in your clothing and baby blankets without ensuring their safety"

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Beyond Pesticides Daily News Blog » EPA Challenged Over Conditional Registration of Nanosilver Product

"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently faced tough questioning from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit over its decision to conditionally approve a pesticide product containing nanosilver as the active ingredient. The antimicrobial pesticide product, HeiQ AGS-20, contains microscopic particles of silver and has been applied to textiles such as clothes, blankets, and pillowcases, in an attempt to suppress odor and bacterial growth... Because of their size, nanoparticles can be easily inhaled, absorbed by skin contact, or ingested. Little to no information is known about the fate or effects nanoparticles, specifically nanosilver, can have on the digestive tract, lung, or skin of those that are exposed to these particles. Research is still ongoing to investigate whether nanosize particles cause pulmonary inflammation as well as systemic effects, and whether they translocate from the lungs to other organs such as the liver, kidney or brain. Preliminary research with laboratory rats has found that nanosilver can traverse into the brain, and can induce neuronal degeneration and necrosis (death of cells or tissue) by accumulating in the brain over a long period of time. Low doses of nanosilver can also make bacteria stronger and more resistant."

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Nanotech innovation high, but 'playing catch-up' on health and safety - Nanotechnology: Harmful or Benign? | Investigative Reporting Workshop

Nanotech innovation high, but 'playing catch-up' on health and safety - Nanotechnology: Harmful or Benign? | Investigative Reporting Workshop | Nanotechnology & Health | Scoop.it

"The businesses and trade groups lobbying against proposed action on nanotechnology by the EPA, the Food and Drug Administration and other federal agencies include the American Chemistry Council and its nanotechnology business panel. Among the panel’s members are Procter & Gamble, BASF Corp., Dow Chemical Co., DuPont, Lockheed Martin Corp. and 3M, all of which use nanomaterial in making at least some of their products or processes. Other key lobbying groups are the NanoBusiness Commercialization Association and the Nanotechnology Industries Association. Nanotechnology practices have sprung up in law and lobby firms, among them Steptoe & Johnson LLP, Foley & Lardner LLP and Bergeson & Campbell PC. The combined amount of money spent on lobbying by these firms last year was more than $200 million, and their campaign contributions to federal candidates during the 2011-2012 election cycle exceeded $120 million.

 

One of the best-known scientist-lobbyists, Rosalind Volpe, made a name for herself defending another industry with a public health and environmental public relations problem: lead. Volpe runs the Silver Nanotechnology Working Group and remains a consultant to the International Lead Zinc Research Organization.

 

“She knows how to lobby for difficult chemicals,” said Jaydee Hanson, a senior policy analyst at the Center for Food Safety, which studies the impact of nanotechnology on food. “She works for five little companies, but they’ve managed to hold up regulations over at the OMB,” a reference to the White House Office of Management and Budget."

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Jake Donald's curator insight, February 18, 8:27 PM

Nanotechnology is a topic on the rise.  This technology deals with the manipulation of nanoparticles on a microscopic level.  Nanotechnology has lead to advancements in agriculture, medicine, electronics, and almost every sector of commerce.  The world market is expected to purchase $2.6 trillion in nanomaterials by the year 2015.

 

Interviews with professionals and regulators showed no result in whether nanotechnology was harmful to health.  Public health officials are troubled by this because many companies can market this technology without knowing that it is harmful.  Many big businesses already use nanotechnology in their products.

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New Chemicals: Sell First, Test for Safety Later? - Environmental Working Group

New Chemicals: Sell First, Test for Safety Later? - Environmental Working Group | Nanotechnology & Health | Scoop.it

"And what about new nanomaterials?

The original Lautenberg proposal would have allowed EPA to regulate novel nanomaterials more rigorously. It contained language that would have updated the definition of “chemical substance” to reflect the new science of nanotechnology, which exploits changes in size and shape of materials to manipulate their behavior, but also may present new health risks.

The Lautenberg-Vitter bill would maintain the status quo. It would give EPA no more power to oversee nanotechnology, despite the rapid development of these materials. That’s a serious gap.  As a chemist specializing in nanotechnology, I know that certain nanomaterials can present greater hazards to health and the environment than ordinary ones. The EPA needs to have the ability to distinguish among different material forms to ensure that both new and existing nanomaterials are safe for us all."

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Is Your Workout Gear Ruining Farm Fields?

Is Your Workout Gear Ruining Farm Fields? | Nanotechnology & Health | Scoop.it
Bacteria-killing nano silver has turned up in all manner of consumer goods. And the EPA hasn't given it a full review.
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12/11/2012: EPA and Consumer Product Safety Commission Collaborate to Research Health Impacts of Nanomaterials

“Nanotechnology and nanomaterials used in the development of these products improve our everyday lives, but it is important that we understand how humans are exposed to nanomaterials and to assess the risks they may pose to people’s health and the environment,” said Dr. Tina Bahadori, national program director for EPA’s Chemical Safety for Sustainability Research.
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