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New device for germophobes runs into old law

By csep - Posted on 23 July 2010

TitleNew device for germophobes runs into old law
Publication TypeNewspaper Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsFeder, Barnaby
NewspaperNew York Times
Pagination1 p.
Date Published6 March 2008
Publication LanguageEnglish
ISSN Number0362-4331

News article that describes how a simple device that helps people avoid touching public services where germs may lurk has run into problems with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA. Early last year the EPA ruled that FIFRA applied to a new Samsung washing machine model that utilized nanoscale silver particles for cleaning clothes, requiring the company to go through a lengthy process to register it as a pesticide. This new small device features a pop-out hook coated with germ-killing nanoparticles of silver that a person can use to press ATM buttons open doors in restrooms, etc. The author raises questions about the some of the issues raised by the EPA not providing clear guidelines about how to classify nanoscale materials, and the problems this has caused for companies trying to market their products without running afoul of regulators.

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