Regulation often develops through accretion rather than bold paradigm shifts, at least in its nascent stages. Nanotechnology appears to be no exception. In mid-September, the agency announced an upcoming meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) focused on the use of nanoscale silver and other nanomaterials in pesticides. The notice of the meeting observed that “it appears that there may be potential for pesticides containing nanoscale materials to pose different risks to humans and the environment than those of pesticides that do not contain nanomaterials.” The agency will be adding ad hoc members with expertise in Nanosilver and other nanometals, ecotoxicology and environmental fate of nanoparticles, characterization of nanoparticles, nanoparticle toxicology (inhalation and dermal absorption), nanoparticle toxicology in general and nanoparticle occupational exposure.
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