The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)announcedon July 2, 2020, that it registered NSPW Nanosilver as a new active ingredient that helps suppress odor-causing bacteria, and algae, fungus, mold, and mildew that can cause deterioration or staining in textiles. EPA notes that NSPW Nanosilver is registered only for use in specified textiles, including fabrics, sportswear, footwear, linens, and awnings. NSPW Nanosilver is the active ingredient in the pesticide product POLYGUARD-NSPW MASTER BATCH (Polyguard). According to EPA, Polyguard will be formulated as a master batch, meaning that NSPW Nanosilver will be embedded within plastic beads or pellets. EPA states that these beads or pellets “are polymeric materials similar to nylon or polyester which are incorporated/infused into textiles through a closed-loop manufacturing process called extrusion.” Once introduced into the process, no beads or pellets can escape into the environment. Available data indicate that the leach rate of nanosilver derived from NSPW Nanosilver-treated textiles is below the limit of detection; the potential for environmental exposure of the polymer is presumed to be negligible.
EPAstates that based on its human health and ecological risk assessment, it has determined that the new active ingredient, NSPW Nanosilver, meets the regulatory standard under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) for use as a materials preservative in textiles in Polyguard. Although EPA includes a link toDocket ID EPA-HQ-OPP-2020-0043to view the product registration and response to comments, those materials are not yet posted in the docket.