In response to the Samsung Washing Machine "nanosilver" controversy last year, EPA indicated it would issue a federal notice concerning how it intends to treat silver ion generators under FIFRA. Many urged EPA to use this opportunity to issue a broad proclamation that all products containing nanoscale silver would be required to be registered as pesticides under FIFRA. NanoLawReport believed EPA would issue a significantly narrower ruling.
On Monday, EPA finally published its promised federal notice requiring products that emit silver ions or other antimicrobial substances to be registered as pesticides under FIFRA. EPA was clear that the notice is not intended to regulate nanotechnology as a whole, nor has the Agency even received information suggesting that the Samsung washing machine in question uses nanotechnology. Whether EPA will require other products containing nanosilver to be registered under FIFRA is likely to be decided on a case-by-case basis.