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LA Testing Analyzes Metam Potassium and Sodium

Category Press Release
Publish Date 5/7/2012
Author Paul Cochrane
Title California’s Prop 65 and Public Health Concerns over Metam Potassium
Introduction LA Testing provides analytical services to protect the public and help businesses comply with California’s Proposition 65.


Garden Grove, CA, May 7th, 2012

In 1986, California voters approved an initiative to address increasing concerns over exposure to toxic chemicals. That initiative, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, is better known by its original name of Proposition 65. 

Proposition 65 requires businesses to notify Californians about significant amounts of chemicals in the products they purchase, in their homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment. This list includes metam potassium, which was added to the Prop 65 list in 2010. 

Metam potassium is used as a soil fumigant.  It is an alternative to metam sodium which was listed on the Proposition 65 List in 1998. As with metam sodium, its active metabolite, methyl isothiocyanate (MITC), is formed upon contact with the soil.  It is used when growing lettuce, potatoes, onions, tomatoes and watermelons.

In 2005 and 2007 memoranda, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stated that unless further qualified or specified, use of the term ‘metam sodium’ should be assumed to also include ‘metam potassium’.  In the EPA’s 2009 evaluation of the carcinogenic potential of metam sodium, the U.S. EPA classified it as “likely to be carcinogenic to humans”.

LA Testing offers analytical services to identify metam potassium and metam sodium in environmental and food product samples.  “Exposure to metam potassium has been shown to increase the incidence of malignant tumors in laboratory test animals according to the EPA,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, Inc., a network of environmental testing laboratories.  “Testing food and environmental samples can help identify if it is present.  Sampling in the field can also help determine if agricultural workers are being exposed to this potentially carcinogenic chemical,” he continued.  

To learn more about testing for metam potassium or other Proposition 65 testing services, please visit, email or call (800) 755-1794.  

About LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, Inc.
LA Testing and EMSL Analytical are providers of environmental testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The companies have an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.

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