Pesticides are spreading toxic ‘forever chemicals,’ according to recent review

Scientists have been raising concerns for decades over the use of toxic ‘forever chemicals,’ [scientifically known as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFASs] “so called because their strong molecular bonds can take hundreds of years to completely break down in the environment. Widely used in consumer products such as cookware and clothing, these substances are turning up everywhere from drinking water to our bloodstream. And now researchers are warning of yet another—and so far underrecognized—source of these troubling toxins: common pesticides. Nearly 70 percent of all pesticides introduced into the global market from 2015 to 2020 contained these chemicals or related compounds, according to a review paper recently published in Environmental Pollution. And the surge in their use has come without a full understanding of their potential impact on the environment and human health…”

“Fluorinated chemicals, including PFASs, have been widely used in consumer products since the 1940s. But in the following decades scientists began realizing that these chemicals persisted in drinking water and human bodies, and in the 1990s the Environmental Protection Agency began investigating PFASs. Nearly every U.S. resident now carries low levels of PFASs in their blood. These chemicals have been linked to testicular and kidney cancers, reproductive disorders, thyroid disease, high cholesterol levels, reduced immune response and even increased susceptibility to COVID-19. Based on these concerns, the U.S. Congress is weighing several bipartisan bills to restrict their use in food containers and cookware and to require the EPA to take comprehensive action to prevent PFAS pollution—including setting national limits on levels in drinking water. Under the Biden administration, the EPA has published a PFAS Strategic Roadmap for addressing the crisis. Eight states have already adopted laws to ban PFASs in certain products, especially food packaging—but not in pesticides.”

To read the full article published in Scientific American, which explains this issue further, see the below link:

Source: Wilcox M. Pesticides are spreading toxic ‘forever chemicals,’ scientists warn. Scientific American, June 15th 2022. Available at:

Citation: Alexandrino DAM, Almeida CMR, Mucha AP, Carvalho MF. Revisiting pesticide pollution: The case of fluorinated pesticides. Environ Pollut. 202 2022 Jan 1;292(Pt A):118315. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2021.118315.

Published by greengrass50

My name is Christine McCullum-Gomez, PhD, RDN. I am a registered dietitian nutritionist with expertise in environmental nutrition, food and nutrition policy, food and nutrition security, food justice, chronic disease prevention, regenerative & organic agriculture, and sustainable healthy dietary patterns. Currently, I serve on the Editorial Review Board and as a Column Editor for the Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition. I live in Bogota, Colombia with my husband, two teenagers (boy-girl twins), and our dog Honey. My website is: You can follow me on Instagram at:

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