“RALEIGH — A scientist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency confirmed Friday that certain perfluorinated compounds are used in the production of solar panels. In response to a request from the North State Journal, EPA physical scientist Dr. Mark J. Strynar provided 39 records from the SciFinder database used by the EPA to identify applications of PFAS (perfluorinated alkylated substances) with solar panels.

‘It appears PFAS are included in solar panel production and thus have the capacity to be sources of PFAS,’ Strynar said, via e-mail, after reviewing the records.

Strynar and colleague Andy Lindstrom started research five years ago that first identified GenX contamination in the Cape Fear area downstream from a DuPont chemical plant that operated from the 1970s until 2015. The discovery sparked public outrage in the Wilmington area, resulted in multiple lawsuits over GenX contamination, and the N.C. General Assembly passed a bill to address GenX contamination.

When asked if solar panels contain GenX, Strynar explained that GenX technically is not a chemical but rather a chemical process. The GenX process produces two PFAS compounds commonly referred to as FRD903 and FRD902. Stryman also confirmed that the GenX chemicals are included in the broad classification of PFAS compounds…

Strynar could not confirm the exact types of PFAS chemicals used in N.C. or U.S. solar panels. Strynar also said he could not confirm whether the EPA or state agencies were investigating solar panel installations as a potential source of PFAS contamination.”

Read the full article by Donna King.