Nearly a year after EPA reversed itself on whether the Samsung SILVERWASHTM washing machine was
regulated as a pesticide under FIFRA, a “clarification” of the Agency’s position was published by way of a
Notice in the Federal Register Sept. 21, 2007 (72 Fed. Reg. 54039) (Sept. 21, 2007). The clarification sets
forth EPA’s position that machines that produce silver ions for pesticidal purposes were “pesticides” subject
to registration under FIFRA, and not “devices.”
The SILVERWASHTM case has been watched closely by companies and others interested in the
environmental regulation of nanomaterials. However, EPA made clear in the Notice that its changed
position related to the pesticidal claims made about the product and did not address nanomaterials, as
such. In fact, it is unclear whether the silver ions at issue are produced in nanoscale or are larger.
The Notice brings the matter to a close as to silver ion particles used for pesticidal purposes, but answers
nothing about the future direction of environmental regulation of nanomaterials.
If you have any questions about the new EPA interpretation of FIFRA, please contact James A. Kosch
(Princeton office), Louis A. Naugle (Environmental Group Practice Leader) or any other member of Reed
Smith's Environmental Group with whom you regularly work