CMD Urges EPA to More Closely Regulate Nanoscale Materials in Pesticides

DNA modifiedThe Center for Media and Democracy has joined a coalition of environmental, consumer and worker's groups in signing onto a letter of concern about nanotechnology.  The comment, drafted by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), supports the plan of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to obtain information about the presence of nanoscale materials in pesticide products.

According to the letter, "Nanoscale materials have unique physical properties compared with their conventional (bulk- scale) counterparts, and are therefore likely to have unique toxicological and exposure-relevant properties as well. Using these nanoscale materials in products without first requiring their hazards and exposure potential to be evaluated means that people, including children, and the environment are being exposed to, and potentially harmed by, chemicals with uncharacterized risk."

Accordingly, CMD along with its allies believes, "that the process of identifying nanoscale materials in pesticide products is a good step, but just the first step, in EPA’s work on such nanoscale materials. Specifically, while it is important to identify which products do contain these materials, it is also important that, once those materials are identified, EPA receive additional data and evaluate them to determine whether and how the presence of these materials in pesticide products may cause harm."

You can view the EPA's policy summary here and all comments here once they are received. You can find out more about the health and policy considerations of nanomaterials from the NRDC here and here, from the EDF here and from another cosigner, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), here.