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Maryland General Assembly Passes Bill to Study PFAS Testing in Pesticides

Exciting news for Maryland! The Pesticides - PFAS Testing - Study bill was passed by the Maryland General Assembly. This bill requires the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) to clarify how to best test for PFAS in pesticides in preparation for a 2024 bill restricting using PFAS-containing pesticides in Maryland.

PFAS has been found in alarming levels in Bay waters, tributaries, drinking water, and fish. The study will include an analysis of the health and environmental impacts of PFAS in pesticides, identification of testing methods, and updates on federal and state efforts to regulate or ban the use of pesticides containing PFAS. MDA must report its findings and recommendations by Nov. 1, 2023.

Even low exposure to PFAS is linked to a multitude of long-term, serious health impacts, including kidney, testicular, prostate, and breast cancer, birth defects and developmental damage in infants, childhood obesity, thyroid disease, high cholesterol, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and impaired immune function. PFAS levels also affect the severity of COVID-19 infection and have been correlated with vaccine failure.

"This is a positive step towards restricting PFAS in pesticides, benefiting farmworkers, their families, and the wider community living around agricultural fields," said Leila Borrero Krouse, an Organizer/Immigration Specialist at the CATA's Maryland Office.

For more information about the legislation, contact the Smart on Pesticides Coalition.

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