This study focuses on the ability of silver ions and humic acid to form silver nanoparticles in the presence of UV and visible light. Silver nanoparticles have a number of industrial applications due primarily to their antimicrobial properties, but these properties pose an environmental threat. Silver nanoparticles can directly disrupt sensitive ecosystems by harming bacteria. Consumption of silver nanoparticles results in silver ions and silver nanoparticles entering waterways; the presence of silver ions raises the question of whether nanoparticles can reform in environmental waters. As our data show, silver nanoparticles can form from the reduction of silver ions by humic acid after irradiation with UV and visible light. In order to better understand the mechanism of these naturally synthesized silver nanoparticles, we investigated the effects of reactant concentration, experimental conditions and presence of ions/reactive species. We monitored silver nanoparticle growth with UV-visible spectroscopy. The evolution in time of nanoparticle size was monitored by dynamic light scattering (DLS).