“PFAS (per and polyfluorinated alykyl substances) ‘forever chemicals’ are being detected in a commonly used mosquito pesticide known as Anvil 10+10, according to reporting from the Boston Globe based on independent testing from a watchdog group and state regulators. PFAS are a large family of nearly 5,000 chemicals that may never break down in the environment and have been linked to cancer, liver damage, birth and developmental problems, reduced fertility, and asthma. The chemicals already disproportionately contaminate people of color communities, and there is evidence they reduce the efficacy of vaccines. While many may be familiar with PFAS for its use in nonstick cookware, electrical wire insulation, personal care products, food packaging, textiles, and other consumer goods, its presence within an already toxic pesticide is alarming. Perhaps most concerning, neither the manufacturer nor regulators have a good understanding of how exactly PFAS chemicals made their way into pesticide products.
Watchdog group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) conducted a preliminary test on Anvil 10+10 this fall, detecting presence of PFAS in a 2.5 gallon jug. “Our tests revealed that Anvil 10+10 contains roughly 250 parts per trillion (ppt) of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and 260 – 500 ppt of hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid (HFPO-DA), a GenX replacement for PFOA,” the group wrote in a letter to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state regulators. Concerned by the results, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection initiated its own testing directly from 55 gallon drums of the product. Not only was PFAS found, some of the detections exceeded safety limits recently enacted by the state for drinking water. Although EPA does not currently regulate PFAS, it established a 70 ppt Lifetime Health Advisory for PFOA and PFOS in drinking water.”