States Must Phase Out PFAS-Laden Pesticides

CLF pushing New England leaders to test all pesticides for toxic chemicals before use

Tarek, CC BY-ND 2.0

October 5, 2021 (BOSTON, MA) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) is pushing state leaders throughout New England to put an end to the use of pesticides contaminated with toxic chemicals. Recent research by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) found pesticides containing PFAS have been sprayed on land throughout the region, and CLF is calling for new rules that would require manufactures to prove that any new pesticide does not contain the harmful chemicals. 

“Pesticides are already poisonous by design, and we now know the risks to human health are even greater than previously thought,” said Maggie Super Church, Vice President of Healthy and Resilient Communities at CLF. “PFAS pose a grave danger to human health, and they have no place being sprayed on lands where they can seep into groundwater. It’s time for state leaders across New England to step up and get serious about reducing exposure to these toxic chemicals.”  

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. 

Recent testing uncovered toxic PFAS in the widely used pesticide Anvil 10+10 after Massachusetts sprayed it from airplanes and helicopters over two million acres. It has been detected in other commonly used pesticides as well. It is time for the New England states to limit this preventable exposure to these dangerous chemicals. 

CLF is calling on state leaders in all New England states to demand that manufacturers prove that their pesticides don’t contain PFAS before they are approved by state regulators.   

You can find the letters to state officials here. 

CLF experts are available for further comment.