New registration fully addresses Court decision
BAD ZURZACH, SWITZERLAND, Dec. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- HeiQ is pleased to announce that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved amendments to its registration of the HeiQ AGS-20 antimicrobial technology to assure continuity of current uses following last month's decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Court's decision fully rejected all objections to EPA's registration of HeiQ AGS-20 raised by the petitioner NRDC, however the Court independently identified one aspect of EPA's decision reasoning that was seemingly self-contradictory. To address this administrative issue, the Court vacated a narrow portion of EPA's registration decision, and referred the question back to EPA for clarification. The Court was explicit that its narrow order should have no effect on the rest of EPA's registration approval of HeiQ AGS-20. Since that time, HeiQ has worked cooperatively with EPA to promptly resolve the matter raised by the Court.
HeiQ has agreed to comprehensively address the Court's decision by reducing the maximum application rate for HeiQ AGS-20 by 1 ppm and limit the articles treated with HeiQ AGS-20 to garments and textiles intended for adults, excluding garments for infants and toddlers as well as other textiles that infants or toddlers might wear and chew. This change is consistent with the current uses of HeiQ AGS-20 in military, uniform and sportswear articles.
"We welcome EPA's approval of these amendments to the registration of HeiQ AGS-20. EPA originally approved HeiQ AGS-20 in part because it leads to less silver released in the environment while providing longer protection against the growth of odor and stain causing bacteria. This approval re-affirms EPA's recognition of the potential benefits provided by HeiQ AGS-20 as one of the most sustainable odor control technologies available." said Carlo Centonze, CEO of HeiQ Materials.
Why treat textiles?
As the Earth's population grows and becomes more affluent, demand for textiles will continue to increase. Resources, however, will remain under intense pressure: Cotton cultivation requires large amounts of precious land and enormous quantities of scarce water as well as the extensive utilization of large quantities of pesticides. By contrast, synthetic textiles like polyester can have up to a 10 times smaller ecological footprint. By combating microbes, and therefore odor, HeiQ AGS-20 keeps synthetic textiles fresh for longer. It also reduces the need for washing, enables washing at lower temperatures with less detergent, and makes textiles more durable – extending the length of their use or wear. As a result, HeiQ AGS-20 helps to reduce the impact on the environment.
About HeiQ Materials
As winner of the prestigious Swiss Technology Award, HeiQ is dedicated to develop sustainable, high-performance textile technologies. HeiQ is also a recent winner of the European Environmental Press Award – the only independent European award focused on sustainable and environmentally friendly technology and innovation.
HeiQ AGS-20, the basis for a number of HeiQ's innovative products, is not the company's only odor control product. HeiQ's innovative product portfolio is based on a variety of silver materials, including silver salts, ionic silvers and cutting-edge microcomposites like HeiQ AGS-20. The silver used in HeiQ products is derived entirely from recycled sources.
Some of HeiQ's other products include HeiQ BARRIER ECO, a textile effect that makes surfaces water-repellent with fluorine-free and environmentally-sound technologies; and HeiQ ADAPTIVE, a pioneering treatment that responds to heat and moisture dynamically, helping the wearer to stay cool and dry during exercise and textiles to dry up to 30% faster during tumble drying.
About the HeiQ AGS-20 Technology
HeiQ AGS-20 is a microcomposite material composed of silver and silicon dioxide. HeiQ AGS-20 is made as a powder with a typical particle size of 1 to 3 microns – [similar to many common powders] and significantly outside the nanoscale. HeiQ AGS-20 is mostly silica. The silver component consists of silver particles firmly embedded within the larger silica matrix. HeiQ AGS-20 is approved for use in textiles, and is used at low concentrations -- finished textiles contain less than 0.01% silver by weight.
HeiQ AGS-20 is the latest silver material to join a number of other EPA-registered antimicrobial products containing nanoscale silver on the US market, in many cases for decades (the earliest registrations date back to 1954). Until recently, EPA did not have a policy to identify and evaluate antimicrobials containing nanoscale components differently than larger scale materials, and did not separately address nanoscale elements when assessing or approving those products. HeiQ-AGS-20 was the first antimicrobial to successfully complete the new, more rigorous registration process. EPA's landmark registration approval decision now has been reviewed and approved by US courts in all material respects.
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