Today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports:
Consumer products using extremely small particles of silver to kill germs will need Environmental Protection Agency approval, part of the government's first move to regulate the burgeoning nanotechnology industry.
The EPA said Wednesday it was changing federal policy to require that manufacturers provide scientific evidence that their use of nanosilver won't harm waterways or public health.
Environmentalists and others are concerned that after the material is discarded and enters the environment, it may be killing helpful bacteria and aquatic organisms or even pose a risk to humans.
Nanosilver is used to kill germs in shoe liners, food-storage containers, air fresheners, washing machines and other products.
The EPA's nanotechnology website is at www.epa.gov/ncer/nano