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EPA releases draft silver nanomaterial case study



The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published a draft case study of engineered nanoscale silver (nano-Ag) as used in a number of disinfectant sprays for which it invites comments by 27 September 2010.

The case study is organised around a comprehensive environmental assessment (CEA) framework, which combines a product life-cycle perspective with a risk assessment paradigm. The document does not draw conclusions about potential 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 as a starting point to identify and prioritise possible research directions to support future assessments of nanomaterials.

Each chapter includes lists of questions that reflect information gaps in that portion of the document. Some of these knowledge gaps or research needs are specific to the use of nano-Ag in disinfectant sprays; others may relate more broadly to nano-Ag irrespective of its application, while still others may apply more widely to nanomaterials in general. Readers are encouraged to consider the questions listed throughout the document and offer specific comments on how individual questions or research needs might be better expressed.

Draft document for comment

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