Concerns About PFAS in Pesticides
PFAS in Pesticides Bill Passes in 2023 Maryland General Assembly
Key step toward protecting Maryland from dangerous PFAS-containing pesticides
The PFAS in Pesticides Bill (SB158/HB319) was amended to a 6-month study to answer questions about PFAS testing methods in pesticides, to move a PFAS in pesticides ban bill in 2024.
Maryland, like other states, is in an emerging PFAS crisis, now even more alarming with the discovery that common pesticides contain these toxic chemicals.
What are PFAS? Similar to lead, PFAS, or perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are “forever chemicals” that do not go away and do not demonstrate immediate visible negative outcomes. Also like lead, PFAS exposure can result in a variety of serious health effects. These toxic chemicals have already made their way into our water systems, including the Chesapeake Bay, our drinking water, soil, fish, food, and consequently, our bodies.
Why do we need this legislation? PFAS has been found in the Chesapeake Bay, our drinking and fishing waters. It is also found in pesticides. Millions of pounds of pesticides are applied annually in Maryland—that end up in our air, soil, and the Bay—and we do not know if they contain PFAS.
New research found extraordinarily high levels of PFAS in common pesticides used on food crops; the crops grown in these fields tested at thousands of times the EPA’s lifetime drinking water limit. Other research reveals dangerous levels of toxic PFAS in Bay fish, oysters, and crabs.
The PFAS contamination crisis demands we must take action at the state level.
What does the bill Do? SB 158/HB319 requires the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA), in consultation with the Departments of Environment, and Health, and with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to answer several questions regarding how to best test for PFAS in pesticides. This study group is in preparation for a 2024 bill that would restrict the use of PFAS-containing pesticides in Maryland.
Who will the 2024 bill help? Reducing PFAS contaminants in our air, water, and soil will make all Marylanders—children and adults, especially pregnant women—safer. Maryland must protect its communities from negative health and environmental impacts.
Learn about PFAS concerns in pesticides, download the bill fact sheet.
The Smart on Pesticides Maryland coalition works to protect Marylanders and the natural systems we depend upon from the toxic impacts of pesticides. The Smart on Pesticides Coalition of 112 organizations and businesses is a winning strategy, amplifying all our voices, so Marylanders can win important public health and environmental protections from pesticides in our state. The Coalition includes organizations and institutions representing communities, businesses, health care providers, farmers, environmentalists, Waterkeepers, interfaith congregants as well as environmental justice, public health, and wildlife advocates.
Want to Protect Yourself and Family from PFAS in Mosquito Sprays Now?
Visit our Managing Mosquitoes Without Pesticides page, for how to opt-out your property and community from the State spray program.
On this page, you can also access the fact sheet for lots of safer alternatives to protect you and yours from mosquitoes this season.