03 Mar Important PFAS Testing Bill In MD – Help Ban Toxic Forever Chemicals!
A new bill in the Maryland State legislature seeks to address and ban the use of harmful “forever chemicals” in pesticides by requiring these products be tested and found to be free of hazardous PFAS substances before they’re allowed to be used and sold in Maryland. HB-318/SB0158, The Pesticide Registration – PFAS Testing – Requirements Bill, is making its way through the Maryland House and Senate, but it needs your support! Send a quick email of support to your legislators.
PFAS, or per- or polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a persistent and dangerous group of chemicals that do not degrade in the environment and can cause serious health problems. There is no known safe way to dispose of the chemicals, they have now found their way into our drinking water, the environment, our food, and even our bodies. PFAS not only harms humans but also fish, with high concentrations thousands of times above EPA’s safe drinking water advisory. PFAS contaminates our rivers and Bay and harms our fisheries and wildlife, including pollinators. In people, PFAS has been linked to kidney, testicular, prostate, breast cancer, birth defects, infant development damage, childhood obesity, thyroid disease, and a variety of other health conditions, according to research. PFAS exposure has been shown to reduce the immune response to vaccines and increase susceptibility to COVID-19.
Recent research has found PFAS at alarmingly high levels in common pesticides. Even more worrisome, crops grown in fields where PFAS-contaminated pesticides are used, have been found to also be contaminated by PFAS at thousands of times above EPA’s advisory for drinking water. The PFAS in pesticides accumulates in the soil to continue to contaminate crops after the pesticide application.
In addition to the millions of pounds of pesticides used in agriculture annually in our state, Maryland’s mosquito control program sprays communities in spring, summer, and fall often weekly. Three of the tested products that Maryland uses were found to contain PFAS. Synthetic pyrethroids, which are used in our state to control mosquitos, and PFAS chemicals can act as endocrine disruptors, which means they can interfere with our hormone system and cause serious health problems. There has been no research yet on how these chemicals interact with each other synergistically and how that may worsen their effects on human health.
HB319/SB159 Pesticide Registration – PFAS Testing – Requirements Bill seeks to address this issue by requiring manufacturers of pesticide products in Maryland to show their products are PFAS-free. Starting January 1, 2024, the requirement will apply to mosquito control products. Then as of January 1, 2026, manufacturers of all pesticides will have to provide this same testing to prove that their products are PFAS-free. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not addressing important issues of PFAS added to pesticides by manufacturers or of PFAS contamination of pesticides from fluorinated containers, so it is up to our state legislators to protect Maryland.
We urge you to support HB319/SB158 by contacting your legislators here expressing your support for this bill. Together, we can make a difference and create a healthier future for all Marylanders.