An anonymous reader writes to mention a Washington Post article about new EPA regulations on nanotech in cleaners
. Nanoparticles are now used to do everything from waterproofing pants to making faster-burning rocket fuel, but one of the most common new applications is their use in household cleaners. The EPA is handing down new regulations saying that these silver-coated nanoparticles have to be safe for the environment. Their concerns stem from the fact that a large majority of cleansers, eventually, end up in large bodies of water. From the article: "Silver can kill microbes even in bulk form but is more efficient as nanoparticles. Nanosilver also can be easily incorporated into a variety of products, such as food containers and shoe liners. That characteristic has made it the most common type of nanomaterial marketed to consumers, according to a database of about 350 nanoproducts maintained by the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies. Nanosilver has also been added to bandages to speed healing. That use and others in which the particles are applied to the body are regulated not by the EPA but by the Food and Drug Administration, which is currently considering whether it needs new rules for nanoproducts."