CLF, PEER Call for Immediate Pause on Use of PFAS-Laden Pesticides

Harmful PFAS chemicals present in widely used pesticides

May 17, 2021 (BOSTON, MA) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) are demanding that state leaders throughout New England halt the use of PFAS-contaminated pesticides. With mosquito season approaching, pesticide spraying may be doing more harm than good by spreading these dangerous chemicals onto lands and into groundwater.

“Millions of acres across New England are being blanketed with toxic forever chemicals,” said CLF President Bradley Campbell. “It is all but certain that dangerous PFAS are leaching into groundwater and threatening to poison communities that depend on that water to drink. Leaders across New England need to step up and protect public health by stopping the use of PFAS-laden pesticides until we’re certain they aren’t poisoning our food and water.”

PFAS are known as “forever chemicals” because they never fully break down in the environment. They also can build up in our blood for years, and even a small amount may affect growth, learning, and behavior in infants and children and make it harder for a woman to get pregnant. PFAS may interfere with natural human hormones and the immune system, increase cholesterol, and disrupt liver, thyroid, and pancreatic function.

“Across New England, communities are being exposed to dangerous forever chemicals hidden inside commonly used pesticides,” said Tim Whitehouse, Executive Director of PEER. “States need to get to the bottom of this problem to protect public health.”

Testing done by PEER uncovered toxic PFAS in the widely used pesticide Anvil 10+10 after Massachusetts sprayed it from airplanes and helicopters over two million acres. It’s believed that the dangerous forever chemicals leached into the pesticide from the containers it was stored in.

CLF and PEER’s petition to state leaders in all New England states demands that regulators in every New England state immediately halt the use of all PFAS-contaminated pesticides – not just Anvil. They must test pesticides for contamination before clearing them for use and investigate the environmental and human health harms that have resulted from PFAS-contaminated pesticides.

You can find the letters to state officials here.

Experts are available for further comment.