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March 5th, 2008
The E.P.A. has so far rejected calls from environmental groups to automatically classify nanoscale forms of known materials as new chemicals under the broad toxic chemical control regulations. Nor does the agency consider size when determining what needs to be registered under its pesticide regulations. Business groups generally support such restraint but the effort to squeeze nanomaterials into existing regulations has left many companies worried about how to market their products without running afoul of the regulators.
The Metzgers ended up hiring Lawrence Culleen, one of the most experienced and expensive specialists in E.P.A. regulation in Washington, but have nonetheless had trouble determining how far they can go with their health claims.
"Everything is still on hold," Paul Metzger said last week. Meanwhile, the Chinese factory that makes their devices is pressuring the brothers to restart production, he said. And once the green light is given, it will be two more months before the Handler is once again widely available.
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