[X] CLOSEMAIN MENU

  • Archives

  • Categories

    • air pollution (8)
    • Announcements (598)
    • Antibiotic Resistance (39)
    • Antimicrobial (17)
    • Aquaculture (30)
    • Aquatic Organisms (33)
    • Bats (7)
    • Beneficials (51)
    • Biofuels (6)
    • Biological Control (34)
    • Biomonitoring (37)
    • Birds (25)
    • btomsfiolone (1)
    • Bug Bombs (2)
    • Canada (10)
    • Cannabis (29)
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (9)
    • Chemical Mixtures (3)
    • Children (108)
    • Children/Schools (240)
    • cicadas (1)
    • Climate (30)
    • Climate Change (84)
    • Clover (1)
    • compost (5)
    • Congress (16)
    • contamination (150)
    • deethylatrazine (1)
    • Disinfectants & Sanitizers (18)
    • Drift (12)
    • Drinking Water (14)
    • Ecosystem Services (12)
    • Emergency Exemption (3)
    • Environmental Justice (162)
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (502)
    • Events (88)
    • Farm Bill (18)
    • Farmworkers (190)
    • Forestry (5)
    • Fracking (4)
    • Fungal Resistance (6)
    • Fungicides (24)
    • Goats (2)
    • Golf (15)
    • Greenhouse (1)
    • Groundwater (13)
    • Health care (32)
    • Herbicides (33)
    • Holidays (37)
    • Household Use (9)
    • Indigenous People (6)
    • Indoor Air Quality (5)
    • Infectious Disease (4)
    • Integrated and Organic Pest Management (70)
    • Invasive Species (35)
    • Label Claims (49)
    • Lawns/Landscapes (245)
    • Litigation (340)
    • Livestock (9)
    • men’s health (1)
    • metabolic syndrome (2)
    • Metabolites (4)
    • Microbiata (20)
    • Microbiome (26)
    • molluscicide (1)
    • Nanosilver (2)
    • Nanotechnology (54)
    • National Politics (388)
    • Native Americans (3)
    • Occupational Health (15)
    • Oceans (9)
    • Office of Inspector General (2)
    • perennial crops (1)
    • Pesticide Drift (160)
    • Pesticide Efficacy (8)
    • Pesticide Mixtures (6)
    • Pesticide Regulation (771)
    • Pesticide Residues (180)
    • Pets (36)
    • Plant Incorporated Protectants (1)
    • Plastic (6)
    • Poisoning (18)
    • Preemption (41)
    • President-elect Transition (2)
    • Repellent (4)
    • Resistance (117)
    • Rights-of-Way (1)
    • Rodenticide (33)
    • Seasonal (3)
    • Seeds (6)
    • soil health (14)
    • Superfund (3)
    • synergistic effects (18)
    • Synthetic Pyrethroids (16)
    • Synthetic Turf (3)
    • Take Action (583)
    • Textile/Apparel/Fashion Industry (1)
    • Toxic Waste (11)
    • Volatile Organic Compounds (1)
    • Wildlife/Endangered Sp. (454)
    • Women’s Health (25)
    • Wood Preservatives (34)
    • World Health Organization (10)
    • Year in Review (2)
  • Most Viewed Posts

Daily News Blog

20
Feb

Take Action: Advocates Ask Congress to Include Protections from PFAS Contamination in Farm Bill

(Beyond Pesticides, February 20, 2024) With health risks including developmental, metabolic, cardiovascular, and reproductive harm, cancer, damage to the liver, kidneys, and respiratory system, as well as the potential to increase the chance of disease infection and severity, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and their toxic trail of contamination in the environment is wreaking havoc with all life. The use of PFAS in industrial and commercial applications has led to widespread contamination of water and biosolids used for fertilizer, poisoning tens of millions of acres of land and posing a significant threat to the biosphere, public health, gardens, parks, and agricultural systems. Farmers and rural communities, in particular, bear the brunt of this contamination, as it affects their drinking water, soil quality, and livestock health.  

Tell Congress that the Farm Bill must include the Relief for Farmers Hit with PFAS Act and the Healthy H2O Act to protect farmers and rural communities from PFAS contamination. 

Led by Chellie Pingree (D-ME), U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Susan Collins (R-ME), a bipartisan and bicameral bill—the Relief for Farmers Hit with PFAS Act—has been introduced to provide assistance and relief to those affected by PFAS. A second bill, the Healthy H2O Act, introduced by Representatives Pingree and David Rouzer (R-NC) and Senators Baldwin and Collins, provides grants for water testing and treatment technology directly to individuals and non-profits in rural communities. 

There are more than 9,000 synthetic (human-made) chemical compounds in the PFAS family, which includes the most well-known subcategories, PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate) and PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid). These PFAS compounds have been dubbed “forever chemicals” for their persistence in the environment (largely because they comprise chains of bonded fluorine–carbon atoms, those bonds being among the strongest ever created). PFAS contamination of drinking water, surface and groundwater, waterways, soils, and the food supply, among other sources, is a ubiquitous and concerning contaminant across the globe. PFAS contamination of drinking water resources is a serious and growing issue for virtually all U.S. states, as Environmental Working Group (EWG) demonstrates via its interactive map, and for hydrologic ecosystems around the world. 

The widespread exposure to these compounds arises from multiple sources: 

  • Contamination of drinking water and wastewater treatment resulting in fertilizers produced from biosolids (processed output from treatment plants), as well as residues in food packaging some pesticides; 
  • extensive “legacy” (historic) use in fabric and leather coatings, household cleaning products, firefighting foams, stain-resistant carpeting, and other products; 
  • historic and current industrial uses in the aerospace, automotive, construction, and electronics sectors; and 
  • current uses in many personal care products (e.g., shampoo, dental flosses, makeup, nail polish, some hand sanitizers, sunscreens); water-and-stain-proof and -resistant fabrics and carpeting; food packaging; and non-stick cookware, among others. 

Although some of these uses and resulting contamination have been phased out, many persist, including several related to food processing and packaging. The flooding of the materials stream with thousands of persistent synthetic PFAS compounds since their first uses in the 1950s allows them to remain widespread in the environment and in human bodies. People can be exposed to PFAS compounds in a variety of ways, including occupationally, through food sources, via drinking contaminated water (another enormous emerging issue; see below), ingesting contaminated dust or soil, breathing contaminated air, and using products that contain, or are packaged in materials that use, the chemicals. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notes, “[B]ecause of their widespread use and their persistence in the environment, many PFAS are found in the blood of people and animals all over the world and are present at low levels in a variety of food products and in the environment. PFAS are found in water, air, fish, and soil at locations across the nation and the globe. Scientific studies have shown that exposure to some PFAS in the environment may be linked to harmful health effects in humans and animals.”

Among the potential health risks of some PFAS compounds for humans are: 

  • impacts on the immune system (including decreased vaccine responses); 
  • endocrine disruption; 
  • reproductive impacts, including lowered infant birth weight; 
  • developmental delays in children; 
  • increased risk of hypertension, including in pregnant people (eclampsia); 
  • alterations to liver enzymes; 
  • increased risk of some cancers, including prostate, kidney, and testicular; 
  • increase in circulatory cholesterol levels; 
  • increased risk of cardiometabolic diseases (via exposure during pregnancy); and 
  • possible increased risk of COVID-19 infection and severity. 

Tell Congress that the Farm Bill must include the Relief for Farmers Hit with PFAS Act and the Healthy H2O Act to protect farmers and rural communities from PFAS contamination. 

After years of advocate pressure, EPA has begun to take action under its PFAS Strategic Roadmap—including “designat[ing] two of the most widely used per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances [PFOA and PFOS] as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as ‘Superfund;’” issuing interim updated drinking water health advisories for PFOA and PFOS); issuing final health advisories on two others that had been considered “replacement” chemicals for manufacturing uses—perfluorobutane sulfonic acid and its potassium salt (PFBS) and hexafluoropropylene oxide (HFPO) dimer acid and its ammonium salt (the so-called “GenX chemicals”). 

PFAS compounds have been found to contaminate water and irrigation sources, and soils themselves — often through the use of fertilizers made from so-called “biosludge” (biosolids) from local waste treatment plants. In addition, these plants may discharge millions of gallons of wastewater into waterways, contaminating them; current waste and water treatment generally does not eliminate PFAS compounds from the treated effluent water. Biosolids and wastewater have long been sources of exposure concerns related to pesticides, industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and household chemicals; PFAS contamination is now rising as a specific and concerning addition to that nasty list. 

These forever (and perhaps “everywhere”) compounds may be contaminating nearly 20 million acres of productive agricultural land in the U.S. A significant portion of farmers, perhaps 5%, is using biosludge from local treatment plants as fertilizer on their acreage. The use of biosludge was thought by many, a decade ago, to be a sensible use of the waste products from treatment; it was even encouraged by many state agricultural department programs, but now it is recognized that these products present threats when spread on fields that produce food—or anywhere that presents the possibility of human, organism, or environmental exposures to potentially toxic PFAS compounds. Notably, there are currently no federal requirements to test such sludge “fertilizers” for the presence of PFAS. 

Recognizing the impacts on the agricultural sector from PFAS, the state of Maine has taken the lead in both state and federal efforts to support farmers who have been affected by PFAS contamination, including the Relief for Farmers Hit with PFAS Act and the Healthy H2O Act.

In short, these bills would achieve the following: 

  • The Healthy H2O Act addresses PFAS contamination in water supplies by providing funding for water testing, treatment, and remediation. By allocating resources to support the implementation of effective PFAS filtration systems, it can ensure that farmers and rural communities have access to clean and safe water, protecting both human health and agricultural productivity. 
  • The Relief for Farmers Hit with PFAS Act provides financial assistance and support to farmers affected by PFAS contamination. By establishing a comprehensive assistance program, we can help farmers mitigate the economic burdens resulting from PFAS-related disruptions and implement necessary remediation efforts. Additionally, this act supports research and education initiatives to enhance farmers’ awareness and understanding of PFAS risks and best management practices. 

Meanwhile, we must not lose sight of the fact that PFAS chemicals are not the only legacy contaminants. Others include wood preservatives, DDT, dioxins, and the termiticide chlordane. Unfortunately, some of these continue to be added to the environment, sometimes inadvertently, but also intentionally, particularly through pesticide use. 

Tell Congress that the Farm Bill must include the Relief for Farmers Hit with PFAS Act and the Healthy H2O Act to protect farmers and rural communities from PFAS contamination. 

Letter to Congress

I am writing to urge you to cosponsor S.747, the Relief for Farmers Hit with PFAS Act, and S. 806, the Healthy H2O Act—and push for their inclusion in the Farm Bill—in order to help farmers who have been impacted by PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances) contamination. As indicated by the title of the bill, farmers have often been “hit with” legacy contaminants through no fault of their own, and the bill will authorize $500 million over FY 2023-2027 to the U.S Department of Agriculture to help farmers, including: more capacity for PFAS testing for soil or water sources; blood monitoring for individuals to make informed decisions about their health; equipment to ensure a farm remains profitable during or after known PFAS contamination; relocation of a commercial farm if the land is no longer viable; alternative cropping systems or remediation strategies; educational programs for farmers experiencing PFAS contamination; research on soil and water remediation systems, and the viability of those systems for farms; and improving rural drinking water. This money, if appropriated, comes from taxpayers, not those responsible for the contamination.

PFAS chemicals, also known as “forever chemicals,” are legacy contaminants whose historical use, including many decades ago in some instances, has led to their toxic persistence in the environment and in organisms. However, PFAS chemicals are not the only legacy contaminants. Others include wood preservatives, DDT, dioxins, and the termiticide chlordane. Unfortunately, some of these continue to be added to the environment, sometimes inadvertently, but also intentionally, particularly through pesticide use.

Since these legacy “forever chemicals” continue to be added to the environment, it is particularly important to stop their use. Many of them, like PFAS, are endocrine-disrupting chemicals that have not been adequately restricted. Thus, while I urge you to pass these bills offering relief to farmers harmed by PFAS, we must also do all that we can to prevent further contamination.

I urge you to use your oversight of EPA to ensure that persistent toxic pesticides and other chemicals are no longer allowed to be released into the environment. Ensure that EPA carries out its responsibility to ensure that PFAS and other endocrine disruptors are not released into the environment.

Thank you.

 

Share

8 Responses to “Take Action: Advocates Ask Congress to Include Protections from PFAS Contamination in Farm Bill”

  1. 1
    Cesar Raposo Says:

    I am writing to urge you to cosponsor S.747, the Relief for Farmers Hit with PFAS Act, and S. 806, the Healthy H2O Act—and push for their inclusion in the Farm Bill—in order to help farmers who have been impacted by PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances) contamination. As indicated by the title of the bill, farmers have often been “hit with” legacy contaminants through no fault of their own, and the bill will authorize $500 million over FY 2023-2027 to the U.S Department of Agriculture to help farmers, including: more capacity for PFAS testing for soil or water sources; blood monitoring for individuals to make informed decisions about their health; equipment to ensure a farm remains profitable during or after known PFAS contamination; relocation of a commercial farm if the land is no longer viable; alternative cropping systems or remediation strategies; educational programs for farmers experiencing PFAS contamination; research on soil and water remediation systems, and the viability of those systems for farms; and improving rural drinking water. This money, if appropriated, comes from taxpayers, not those responsible for the contamination.

    PFAS chemicals, also known as “forever chemicals,” are legacy contaminants whose historical use, including many decades ago in some instances, has led to their toxic persistence in the environment and in organisms. However, PFAS chemicals are not the only legacy contaminants. Others include wood preservatives, DDT, dioxins, and the termiticide chlordane. Unfortunately, some of these continue to be added to the environment, sometimes inadvertently, but also intentionally, particularly through pesticide use.

    Since these legacy “forever chemicals” continue to be added to the environment, it is particularly important to stop their use. Many of them, like PFAS, are endocrine-disrupting chemicals that have not been adequately restricted. Thus, while I urge you to pass these bills offering relief to farmers harmed by PFAS, we must also do all that we can to prevent further contamination.

    I urge you to use your oversight of EPA to ensure that persistent toxic pesticides and other chemicals are no longer allowed to be released into the environment. Ensure that EPA carries out its responsibility to ensure that PFAS and other endocrine disruptors are not released into the environment.

    Thank you.

  2. 2
    Cathie Wanner Ernst Says:

    PFAS DO NOT belong in our environments, anywhere.

  3. 3
    Lynn Ricci Says:

    My heart hopes SO much that the RIGHT thing is done so that ALL living can live their life.

  4. 4
    Sean San José Says:

    I am writing to urge you to cosponsor S.747, the Relief for Farmers Hit with PFAS Act, and S. 806, the Healthy H2O Act—and push for their inclusion in the Farm Bill—in order to help farmers who have been impacted by PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances) contamination. As indicated by the title of the bill, farmers have often been “hit with” legacy contaminants through no fault of their own, and the bill will authorize $500 million over FY 2023-2027 to the U.S Department of Agriculture to help farmers, including: more capacity for PFAS testing for soil or water sources; blood monitoring for individuals to make informed decisions about their health; equipment to ensure a farm remains profitable during or after known PFAS contamination; relocation of a commercial farm if the land is no longer viable; alternative cropping systems or remediation strategies; educational programs for farmers experiencing PFAS contamination; research on soil and water remediation systems, and the viability of those systems for farms; and improving rural drinking water. This money, if appropriated, comes from taxpayers, not those responsible for the contamination.

    PFAS chemicals, also known as “forever chemicals,” are legacy contaminants whose historical use, including many decades ago in some instances, has led to their toxic persistence in the environment and in organisms. However, PFAS chemicals are not the only legacy contaminants. Others include wood preservatives, DDT, dioxins, and the termiticide chlordane. Unfortunately, some of these continue to be added to the environment, sometimes inadvertently, but also intentionally, particularly through pesticide use.

    Since these legacy “forever chemicals” continue to be added to the environment, it is particularly important to stop their use. Many of them, like PFAS, are endocrine-disrupting chemicals that have not been adequately restricted. Thus, while I urge you to pass these bills offering relief to farmers harmed by PFAS, we must also do all that we can to prevent further contamination.

    I urge you to use your oversight of EPA to ensure that persistent toxic pesticides and other chemicals are no longer allowed to be released into the environment. Ensure that EPA carries out its responsibility to ensure that PFAS and other endocrine disruptors are not released into the environment.

    Thank you.

  5. 5
    Joseph Quirk Says:

    Among the potential health risks of some PFAS compounds for humans are:

    impacts on the immune system (including decreased vaccine responses);
    endocrine disruption;
    reproductive impacts, including lowered infant birth weight;
    developmental delays in children;
    increased risk of hypertension, including in pregnant people (eclampsia);
    alterations to liver enzymes;
    increased risk of some cancers, including prostate, kidney, and testicular;
    increase in circulatory cholesterol levels;
    increased risk of cardiometabolic diseases (via exposure during pregnancy); and
    possible increased risk of COVID-19 infection and severity.

  6. 6
    Mark J. Kapec Says:

    NOW!

  7. 7
    Mary Smith Says:

    am writing to urge you to cosponsor S.747, the Relief for Farmers Hit with PFAS Act, and S. 806, the Healthy H2O Act—and push for their inclusion in the Farm Bill—in order to help farmers who have been impacted by PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances) contamination. As indicated by the title of the bill, farmers have often been “hit with” legacy contaminants through no fault of their own, and the bill will authorize $500 million over FY 2023-2027 to the U.S Department of Agriculture to help farmers, including: more capacity for PFAS testing for soil or water sources; blood monitoring for individuals to make informed decisions about their health; equipment to ensure a farm remains profitable during or after known PFAS contamination; relocation of a commercial farm if the land is no longer viable; alternative cropping systems or remediation strategies; educational programs for farmers experiencing PFAS contamination; research on soil and water remediation systems, and the viability of those systems for farms; and improving rural drinking water. This money, if appropriated, comes from taxpayers, not those responsible for the contamination.

    PFAS chemicals, also known as “forever chemicals,” are legacy contaminants whose historical use, including many decades ago in some instances, has led to their toxic persistence in the environment and in organisms. However, PFAS chemicals are not the only legacy contaminants. Others include wood preservatives, DDT, dioxins, and the termiticide chlordane. Unfortunately, some of these continue to be adde

  8. 8
    Yvonne Fisher Says:

    Please provide protection from toxic pesticides including PFAS which is very harmful to the liver and growing babies.

Leave a Reply

  • Archives

  • Categories

    • air pollution (8)
    • Announcements (598)
    • Antibiotic Resistance (39)
    • Antimicrobial (17)
    • Aquaculture (30)
    • Aquatic Organisms (33)
    • Bats (7)
    • Beneficials (51)
    • Biofuels (6)
    • Biological Control (34)
    • Biomonitoring (37)
    • Birds (25)
    • btomsfiolone (1)
    • Bug Bombs (2)
    • Canada (10)
    • Cannabis (29)
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (9)
    • Chemical Mixtures (3)
    • Children (108)
    • Children/Schools (240)
    • cicadas (1)
    • Climate (30)
    • Climate Change (84)
    • Clover (1)
    • compost (5)
    • Congress (16)
    • contamination (150)
    • deethylatrazine (1)
    • Disinfectants & Sanitizers (18)
    • Drift (12)
    • Drinking Water (14)
    • Ecosystem Services (12)
    • Emergency Exemption (3)
    • Environmental Justice (162)
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (502)
    • Events (88)
    • Farm Bill (18)
    • Farmworkers (190)
    • Forestry (5)
    • Fracking (4)
    • Fungal Resistance (6)
    • Fungicides (24)
    • Goats (2)
    • Golf (15)
    • Greenhouse (1)
    • Groundwater (13)
    • Health care (32)
    • Herbicides (33)
    • Holidays (37)
    • Household Use (9)
    • Indigenous People (6)
    • Indoor Air Quality (5)
    • Infectious Disease (4)
    • Integrated and Organic Pest Management (70)
    • Invasive Species (35)
    • Label Claims (49)
    • Lawns/Landscapes (245)
    • Litigation (340)
    • Livestock (9)
    • men’s health (1)
    • metabolic syndrome (2)
    • Metabolites (4)
    • Microbiata (20)
    • Microbiome (26)
    • molluscicide (1)
    • Nanosilver (2)
    • Nanotechnology (54)
    • National Politics (388)
    • Native Americans (3)
    • Occupational Health (15)
    • Oceans (9)
    • Office of Inspector General (2)
    • perennial crops (1)
    • Pesticide Drift (160)
    • Pesticide Efficacy (8)
    • Pesticide Mixtures (6)
    • Pesticide Regulation (771)
    • Pesticide Residues (180)
    • Pets (36)
    • Plant Incorporated Protectants (1)
    • Plastic (6)
    • Poisoning (18)
    • Preemption (41)
    • President-elect Transition (2)
    • Repellent (4)
    • Resistance (117)
    • Rights-of-Way (1)
    • Rodenticide (33)
    • Seasonal (3)
    • Seeds (6)
    • soil health (14)
    • Superfund (3)
    • synergistic effects (18)
    • Synthetic Pyrethroids (16)
    • Synthetic Turf (3)
    • Take Action (583)
    • Textile/Apparel/Fashion Industry (1)
    • Toxic Waste (11)
    • Volatile Organic Compounds (1)
    • Wildlife/Endangered Sp. (454)
    • Women’s Health (25)
    • Wood Preservatives (34)
    • World Health Organization (10)
    • Year in Review (2)
  • Most Viewed Posts