New revelations expose potential EPA's coverup of toxic PFAS in pesticides

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been accused of intentionally concealing the presence of hazardous per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in various pesticide products. This revelation comes from investigations conducted by the non-profit organization Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), led by former EPA employees.    

Kyla Bennett, director of PEER, stated her group obtained EPA data through a Freedom of Information Act request request, showing the agency had found PFAS, including PFOS, in tested pesticides - contradicting the EPA's previous statement, issued just last year.  
This followed a 2022 study detecting PFOS in six out of 10 insecticides. However, the EPA later reported finding no PFAS, claiming superior methodology. But internal EPA documents obtained by PEER revealed the agency had actually conducted multiple tests, with one finding PFOS and other PFAS, which the EPA failed to disclose. Bennett condemned the alleged concealment as "scandalous corruption" potentially driven by pressure from pesticide firms.    

The EPA's failure to disclose the PFAS contamination in pesticides is particularly troubling, given the mounting evidence of the adverse health effects associated with these so-called "forever chemicals." PFAS have been linked to a wide range of health issues, including cancer, reproductive problems, and developmental delays.    

The EPA has declined to comment on the specific allegations, citing an ongoing formal complaint process. However, the agency has taken steps in recent years to address the growing PFAS crisis, including finalizing drinking water limits for certain PFAS compounds and classifying two types of PFAS as hazardous substances.    

Despite these efforts, the new revelations have raised questions about the EPA's commitment to transparency and its ability to effectively regulate the use of PFAS in various industries, including the pesticide sector.    

As the investigation into the EPA's alleged misconduct continues, experts and concerned citizens alike are calling for a comprehensive overhaul of the agency's processes and a renewed focus on prioritizing public health and environmental protection over industry interests.      





Journal of Hazardous Materials