The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently released an agency-validated analytical method for identifying over two dozen per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in oily matrices. The new analytical method aims to help pesticide manufacturers, state regulators, and other interested parties test pesticide products for PFAS compounds in response to recent surprising testing that detected PFAS in EPA-registered pesticide products.

Late last year, EPA received data showing PFAS compounds in an EPA-registered pesticide called Anvil 10+10, and, upon investigation, EPA concluded that the source of the PFAS contamination was the fluorinated HDPE containers used to store and transport the product. PFAS compounds in the containers leached into the pesticide product during storage and transport.

EPA's new analytical method forms part of the agency's ongoing efforts to ascertain the full scope and extent to which PFAS leaching has affected pesticide products in the United States. According to EPA, the new analytical method can detect 28 different PFAS compounds in oily matrices, including pesticide products formulated in oil, petroleum distillates, and mineral oils. The specific testing procedures are explained in an EPA memorandum titled "EPA's Analytical Chemistry Branch Method for the Analysis of PFAS in Oily Matrix," which is available here.

Companies operating in the pesticide industry should both take note of EPA's recent analytical method and stay abreast of EPA's ongoing PFAS investigation. At present, EPA is still investigating the full scope of environmental impacts associated with the use of fluorinated HDPE containers, and EPA has promised to provide further guidance to parties affected by packaging-related PFAS contamination in pesticides.

Helpful links:

  • EPA's news release regarding the new analytical method is available here.
  • Information about the presence of PFAS in pesticide packaging is available here.
  • EPA's memorandum regarding the new analytical method is available here.

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