Report Adds to Evidence of Widespread PFAS Contamination; Calls for Removal of Products

04 May (Beyond Pesticides, May 4, 2023) One of the most widely used insecticides in California, Intrepid 2F, contains harmful levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), or “forever chemicals,” according to a report by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). In fact, 40 percent of pesticide products in the report tested positive for high levels of PFAS. PFAS are common in non-stick cookware, cleaning/personal care products, food packaging, and other consumer products. However, these compounds are also in pesticide productsDespite evidence on the dangers of PFAS stretching as far back as the 1950s, federal agencies sat by the sidelines as the plastics industry continued adding the material to new products. From widespread presence in farm fields and sewage sludge to contaminated water bodies throughout the U.S., PFAS has made its way into the environment and our bodies. PFAS are even present in remote environments like the Arctic, Antarctica, and Eastern European Tibetan Plateau. A study published in 2020 identified PFAS as common products to which Americans are exposed daily.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) determined that 98% of Americans have some level of PFAS in their bloodstream, with studies reporting PFAS compounds are detectable in infants, children, and pregnant women. With health risks including developmental, metabolic, cardiovascular, and reproductive harm, cancer, damage to the liver, kidneys, and respiratory system, as well as the potential to increase the chance of disease infection and severity, PFAS presents a chronic danger to people that demands urgent regulatory action. CBD and PEER submitted the test results to the EPA and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR), advising the agencies to remove these pesticide products from the market until contaminants from supply lines can be removed.

CBD authorized independent, certified lab testing on seven agricultural pesticides with common uses in California to determine the part per trillion (ppt) of PFAS in pesticide products. The insecticide product Malathion 5EC (active ingredient: malathion) contains 510s ppt perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and 680 ppt perfluoroheptanesulfonic acid (PFHpS), with a PFOA level over 100,000 times higher than the level EPA considers safe in drinking water (0.004 ppt). The insecticide Oberon 2SC (active ingredient: spiromesifin) contains 1,500 ppt perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA), and Intrepid 2F (active ingredient: methoxyfenozide) contains 50 ppt of perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS).

PFAS are a group of nearly 10,000 human-made chemicals in various consumer products that people use daily. Although some PFAS compound manufacturing has ceased, these chemicals last forever in the environment as their chemical structure makes them resistant to breakdown. Thus, PFAS contamination is significantly underrepresented and much more […]

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More about: forever chemicals (PFAS, etc.), pollution, and public health