A new report exposes the ‘urgent’ threat of forever chemicals in pesticides, as it calls for tighter EU regulation. Dozens of substances used in pesticides in Europe are ‘forever chemicals’, a new investigation reveals.

The stable door is slowly closing on PFAS – man-made per- or poly-fluorinated alkyl substances which persist in the environment for an incredibly long time.


The EU is set to restrict their use and phase them out with a review of its REACH regulation that governs chemicals. It is part of a promised ‘great detox’ on dangerous substances.

But this won’t apply to pesticides – and that’s a big problem, according to the NGO’s Générations Futures and Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Europe.

It is shocking to find that PFAS, with their long-lasting environmental impacts, are intentionally sprayed on fields and food, says Angeliki Lysimachou, head of science and policy at PAN Europe. Given all the identified risks, their use should stop immediately.


A new joint report from the two NGO’s has found that 37 active substances currently approved for use in pesticides are PFAS. That equates to 12% of all approved synthetic substances.

PFAS are a growing cause for public concern. Recent research has revealed shocking findings – such as the news that rainwater almost everywhere on Earth has unsafe levels of forever chemicals.

This pollution has many potential sources, from chemical manufacturing plants to firefighting foams. Pesticides, however, appear to have gone under the radar.


Many people are unaware that active ingredients in pesticides can be PFAS where they are used to keep them effective for longer.

The investigation dug deep into their use in France, where it found that 30 active substances currently authorized for use in pesticides were PFAS. The sales of these substances have more than tripled since 2008, reaching 2,332 tonnes in 2021.

Analysing authorization documents for the 10 best-selling pesticides containing PFAS, the researchers found that the vast majority of these chemicals stick around in the environment.


Flufenacet and Diflufenican from Bayer are the top-selling substances, says PAN Europe, with German data from the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) suggesting the same dramatic growth in Germany.

There are concerns that they are contaminating groundwater in France.

The NGO’s are also sounding the alarm about possible ‘cocktail effects’ of mixing chemicals, which they claim are not being assessed – even though marketed products sometimes contain several different PFAS.


The EU is planning to restrict the use of so called forever chemicals in Europe, but PFAS pesticides have been excluded from the scope of this restriction.

The main argument is that these substances are already covered and sufficiently regulated under the Pesticides Regulation, the NGO’s say.

According to this regulation, pesticides authorised in the EU should cause no adverse effects to humans and no unacceptable effects on the environment. Despite this, the report reveals that harmful pesticides continue to get approved for use in the production of food.


It is urgent to ban this source of PFAS pollution. These pesticides should be included in the PFAS restriction currently being prepared at European level, argues Salomé Roynel, policy officer at PAN Europe.

That will take time, so we immediately need a better implementation of the pesticide regulation. We propose to apply the precautionary principle required by law and ban all PFAS pesticides now.

The aim is to stop people and the environment being exposed to these forever pollutants. There should be no exception for pesticides, adds Pauline Cervan, toxicologist and project leader of Générations Futures.

Green Euro News / ABC Flash Point News 2023.

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15-11-23 18:58

Kill ‘m all, and not quickly, first deplete them of their money and other valuable resources.

Reply to  Grafkaffer
16-11-23 03:19

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15-11-23 20:52

This is exactly what I commented on either here or elsewhere that the indigenous people of Hawaii who in the main were poor and lived in outlying areas apart from the Americans were subject not only to those chemicals but were and still are a testing ground for Big Chemical USA to spray areas where they lived with untested trial chemicals causing Cancer and other diseases of the native population. This is American Colonialism and arrogance at its extreme proving that the native population is treated no better than the American black population who were used as slaves and classed… Read more »

Reply to  Donnchadh
16-11-23 03:21

Like how Indian tribes in the USA are living near or on nuclear testgrounds?

Reply to  Laupa
16-11-23 04:52

Yes Laupa , in times past what was left of the American Indian population were moved off good land and given sterile land , when oil was found the Americans took over the Indian land using corrupt government officials .

Now,as you say they are left with land that has bad ground water containing radiation and chemicals , Canada is no better ,even now the indigenous population are harassed ,their land taken off them ,their forests cut down and their civil rights ignored .