Diversified Industrials

Performance Chemistries Weekly Roundup – 4.1.21


  • According to NC Policy Watch, Governor Roy Cooper’s (D-NC) new budget proposal would allocate $145 million to the state’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) in 2021-22. Under the plan, DEQ would receive $3.3 million to tackle concerns related to “emerging compounds,” such as 1,4-dioxane, in drinking water.

Ethylene Oxide (EtO):

  • Reuters published a fact check on a Facebook video that mischaracterized the use of EtO as a medical sterilizer. The video, which was posted March 19 and has since received approximately 100,000 views, asserted that lateral flow swabs used by England’s National Health Service (NHS) for COVID-19 testing were “coated” in EtO and claimed that such exposure could cause cancer. Reuters’ fact check indicated that these claims were false, underscoring that sterilization safety procedures ensure any EtO residue is removed by the time of final use.
  • An investigative piece from The Intercept claims that 270,000 pounds of EtO “vanished” from the public record after a 2016 EPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) assessment determined EtO was “30 times more carcinogenic than previously thought.”


  • In an interview with The Guardian, Mount Sinai School of Medicine Professor Shanna Swan said that phthalates were “of paramount concern” to reproductive health trends. Professor Swan claims her research shows that higher maternal exposure to phthalates can lower testosterone levels and lead to lower sperm count in men.
  • New research from the Simon Fraser University published in the American Journal of Epidemiology suggests that a correlation exists between the increased expression of autistic-like behavior in pre-school aged children and higher maternal concentrations of certain chemicals, including phthalates.

Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)::

  • According to Bloomberg Law, President Biden’s newly released Infrastructure Plan would provide $10 billion in funding to “monitor and remediate PFAS in drinking water.” The plan would allocate $111 billion to be split between PFAS remediation ($10 billion), the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund ($45 billion), and grants and low-cost flexible loans to states to modernize clean water infrastructure ($56 billion).
  • E&E News reported that testing conducted by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) and the Maryland Pesticide Education Network (MPEN) identified several PFAS chemicals, including PFOA, in an insecticide product used by the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA). According to the article, EPA has largely linked the presence of PFAS in pesticides to fluorination of the containers that hold the products and is currently investigating different types of fluorinated containers, with plans to present the findings “as expeditiously as possible.”


  • According to E&E News, a new study from the University of California, San Francisco claims that stronger regulations aimed at limiting children’s exposure to formaldehyde could lead to a drop of more than 2,800 childhood asthma cases annually and could save $210 million.

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