Over the next couple of months, a colleague of Bennett’s at PEER tracked down white plastic jugs of Anvil 10+10 and shipped samples of the liquid to a Pennsylvania laboratory called Eurofins for testing. The results confirmed Bennett’s suspicions: The pesticide contained PFAS compounds. And not just any PFAS. Among them was PFOA, used for decades to make countless products, including DuPont’s Teflon nonstick cookware. It belonged to a subclass called long-chain PFAS, compounds found to be so dangerous that the US Environmental Protection Agency had moved to effectively ban them in 2015.
Bennett alerted state officials, who ran their own tests confirming the results and notified their federal counterparts. The EPA started an investigation. Clarke Mosquito, Anvil’s manufacturer, examined its supply chain and found no PFAS listed among its ingredients. Months passed; everyone was stumped.