EPA testing shows mosquito control containers source of PFAS

The fluorinated HDPE containers sold by one company were found to contain eight different PFAS compounds.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made new data available related to per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) compounds found in fluorinated containers in which a mosquito control product was packaged and sold. EPA is also announcing its planned next steps to further characterize and address this potential source of contamination.

While the EPA isn’t naming the product or manufacturer directly, The Boston Globe previously reported the pesticide is known as Anvil 10+10, which is manufactured by Illinois-based Clarke. According to the Globe, the pesticide first began being tested by the Department of Environmental Protection last fall after a Washington advocacy group reported the product contained PFAS.

Since first becoming aware of the PFAS contamination issue in September 2020, EPA says it has been working to investigate the source of the contamination. In December 2020, EPA studied the fluorinated HDPE containers used to store and transport the product and preliminarily determined the fluorination process used may be the source of PFAS contamination.

In January, EPA continued its testing that showed that PFAS compounds were most likely formed from a chemical reaction during the container fluorination process, which then leached into the pesticide product. According to the EPA, after completing a quality assurance and quality control process, it can confirm that it has detected eight different PFAS from the fluorinated HDPE containers, with levels ranging from 20-50 parts per billion.

While EPA is early in its investigation, the agency says it will use all available regulatory and non-regulatory tools to determine the scope of this emerging issue and its potential impact on human health and the environment.

“It is important to note that although these types of products should not be a source of PFAS, the data indicates that the amount of PFAS that has entered the environment from the contamination in the containers the agency tested is extremely small,” the EPA noted in a release. “The agency is also committed to coordinating with the affected entities involved and their supply and distribution chains; pesticide users; the pesticide and packaging industry; and its federal, state and tribal partners as it works through this complex health and environmental issue.”

Source: Waste Today Magazine, March 9, 2021
 Posted by Adam Redling