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EPA Proposes Registration of Product to Protect Textiles

For Release: February 12, 2020

EPA is seeking public input on a proposal to incorporate a pesticide product into textiles to combat odors, discoloration, and other signs of wear.

The proposed registration decision is for a new nanosilver active ingredient, NSPW Nanosilver. The proposed pesticide product, POLYGUARD-NSPW MASTER BATCH (Polyguard), is for incorporation into textiles to suppress bacteria, algae, fungus, mold and mildew, which cause odors, discoloration, stains and deterioration.

The proposed pesticide product registration requires finished textiles to contain less than 0.003 percent silver by weight.

NSPW Nanosilver was the active ingredient in a previous conditional registration, granted by EPA in 2015, for use as a materials preservative in textiles and plastics. However, that decision was challenged, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated it on grounds that EPA’s public interest finding for granting the registration was without support in the record.

The currently proposed product is solely for use in specified textiles; therefore, Polyguard will have a more limited use authorization than the previously vacated conditional registration. Additionally, Polyguard will be formulated as a master batch, meaning that NSPW Nanosilver would be embedded within plastic beads or pellets, in contrast to the previous product registration, which was in the form of a liquid suspension.

The Agency is proposing to register Polyguard, which contains the new active ingredient NSPW Nanosilver. Based on EPA’s human health and ecological risk assessment, the Agency has preliminarily determined that the new active ingredient in Polyguard, NSPW Nanosilver, meets the regulatory standard under FIFRA for use as a materials preservative in textiles. EPA invites public comment on this proposal and these preliminary findings.

The public can submit comments to at Docket # EPA-HQ-OPP-2020-0043 on or before March 13, 2020.