This original announcement was published by the EPA on September 2, 2022. Click here for more!
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to remove 12 chemicals identified as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from the current list of inert ingredients approved for use in pesticide products to better protect human health and the environment.
“Exposure to PFAS is an urgent public health and environmental issue in our country and we’re continuing to work aggressively to reduce the use of these dangerous chemicals,” said Michal Freedhoff, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “Ensuring that these 12 chemicals can no longer be used in pesticides is an important step to protect workers, the public, and our planet from unnecessary PFAS exposure.”
Under the PFAS Strategic Roadmap, EPA committed to taking a renewed look at previous PFAS decisions, and, as part of this review, undertook a thorough review of its list of chemical substances that have been approved for use as inert ingredients in pesticide products. EPA then used its authority to take quick action on PFAS inert ingredients not currently used in registered pesticide products.
Pesticide products contain at least one active ingredient and other intentionally added inert ingredients. Inert ingredients play key roles in pesticide effectiveness and product performance including extending the product’s shelf life or improving the ease of application by preventing caking or foaming. EPA reviews safety information for inert ingredients before they can be included in a pesticide.
While these PFAS are no longer used in any registered pesticide products, EPA determined it is important to remove these 12 chemicals from the list of approved inert ingredients to allow for an updated review of available information for these chemicals to be required, if their future use in pesticide products is requested:
- 2-Chloro-1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane (CAS Reg. No. 2837-89-0);
- α-(Cyclohexylmethyl)-ω-hydropoly(difluoromethylene) (CAS Reg. No. 65530-85-0);
- Dichlorotetrafluoroethane (CAS Reg. No. 1320-37-2);
- Ethane, 1,1,1,2,2-pentafluoro- (CAS Reg. No. 354-33-6);
- Hexafluoropropene, polymer with tetrafluoroethylene (CAS Reg. No. 25067-11-2);
- Montmorillonite-type clay treated with polytetrafluoroethylene (No CAS Reg. No.);
- Poly(difluoromethylene), α-chloro-ω-(1-chloro-1-fluoroethyl) (CAS Reg. No. 131324-06-6);
- Poly(difluoromethylene), α-chloro-ω-(2,2-dichloro-1,1,2-trifluoroethyl)- (CAS Reg. No. 79070-11-4);
- Poly(difluoromethylene), α-(2,2-dichloro-2-fluoroethyl)-, ω-hydro- (CAS No. 163440-89-9);
- Poly(difluoromethylene), α-fluoro-ω-[2-[(2-methyl-1-oxo-2- propenyl)oxy]ethyl]- (CAS Reg. No. 65530-66-7);
- Poly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl), α-hydro-ω-hydroxy-, ether with α-fluoro-ω-(2-hydroxyethyl)poly(difluoromethylene) (1:1) (CAS Reg. No. 65545-80-4); and
- Propane, 1,1,1,2,3,3,3-heptafluoro- (CAS Reg. No. 431-89-0).
Upon publication of the Federal Register notice, EPA will accept public comments on this proposal for 30 days in docket EPA-HQ-OPP-0542 at www.regulations.gov. If removed from the list, any proposed future use of these chemicals as inert ingredients will need to be supported by data which may include studies to evaluate potential carcinogenicity, adverse reproductive effects, developmental toxicity, genotoxicity as well as data on environmental effects.
Pesticide registration decisions are based on extensive data requirements as outlined in 40 CFR 158 which applies to both active ingredients and the inert materials contained in end use products. EPA continues to evaluate all pesticide active ingredients to determine if any meet the current structural definition of PFAS or are part of other related chemistries that have been identified by stakeholders as being of concern. EPA will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.
To read a prepublication version of this proposal and for more information on inert ingredients approved for use in pesticide products visit the Inert Ingredients Overview and Guidance page.