CALIFORNIA – According to www.nbcnews.com, many states are considering a complete ban on the use of chlorpyrifos, a pesticide that kills insects on contact, despite the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) position that the pesticide should remain on the market.
Chlorpyrifos is a pesticide used on many farms and orchards to ward off insects. While the pesticide is effective, several studies have shown that prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos may be linked to low birth weight, low IQ, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, and other developmental problems in children. The Obama Administration proposed a complete ban on the use of chlorpyrifos in fields and orchards, a proposal that was rejected by the Trump Administration in 2017.
More than Three Dozen Studies Find Link Between Prenatal Exposure to Chlorpyrifos and Developmental Disabilities
In 2018, Hawaii passed a full ban on the use of chlorpyrifos. Several other states, including California, Oregon, New York, and Connecticut, are considering similar bans. If successful, other states may follow suit. Many lawmakers supporting a complete ban do not believe the safety of chlorpyrifos is up for debate.
Two decades ago, the EPA banned residential use of chlorpyrifos but has continued to allow commercial use of the pesticide. However, the EPA’s website continues to assert that “[d]espite several years of study, the science addressing neurodevelopmental effects remains unresolved.” In the summer of 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order that effectively pulled chlorpyrifos off the market, a decision the EPA is fighting. The matter is still in the appeals process.
Studies show that long-term exposure to low levels of chlorpyrifos is more dangerous than short-term exposure to higher levels of the pesticide. As such, individuals who live near fields sprayed with chlorpyrifos may be exposed on a long-term basis, potentially subjecting them to negative health consequences.
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