Yup, chlorpyrifos is bad for brains - Pesticide Action Network

Yup, chlorpyrifos is bad for brains - Pesticide Action Network

Pesticide Action Network's picture

Kid in field
Following a clear body of science, California just listed
chlorpyrifos as a "developmental toxicant." The insecticide is still
widely used in agriculture across the state (and country), but now it
will be officially listed with other health-harming chemicals under Proposition 65, the "Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986."

Acknowledging the harmful properties of this pesticide is an
important step, yes, but it will be most meaningful if it paves the way
for real action to protect California's agricultural communities. It's
time to ban chlorpyrifos.

Remember Prop 65?

California residents are most familiar with the Prop 65 warning label
on carcinogenic products, but these labels are also applied to
chemicals determined to be developmental or reproductive toxicants by an
independent science committee.

And yesterday, after reviewing relevant studies and listening to
testimony from scientists and residents, the Developmental and
Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee (DARTIC) concluded that
chlorpyrifos should be labeled as a brain-harming chemical. Because
chlorpyrifos is already banned for home use, this label will only be
visible to those using the insecticide for agricultural applications.

PAN scientist Dr. Emily Marquez, who spoke at the DARTIC hearing in Sacramento, said this:

The committee made the right decision in light of the
scientific evidence. Chlorpyrifos is neurotoxic and the Prop 65 listing
affirms what scientists, doctors and communities have been saying for
years – children’s developing brains are incredibly vulnerable to low
amounts of the chemical during critical windows of development. State
regulators should follow today’s decision by finally taking this
chemical off the market.”

15 years later . . .

It's not new news that chlorpyrifos harms brains,
particularly children's developing brains. Research showing this was
the impetus behind banning the chemical from home use more than 15 years
ago. But progress on getting this chemical out of agricultural fields,
and off of food crops, has been slow thanks in large part to the focused
attention of its manufacturer, Dow Chemical.

On the national stage, Dow's influence was made clear ealier this year when, after closed door meetings
with the company's CEO, newly appointed EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt
made the surprising announcement that he wasn't going ban the use of
chlorpyrifos on food crops — as the agency had previously announced it would do based on its own scientific analysis.

Chlorpyrifos be gone

Until California or federal officials take decisive action, 1 million pounds
of chlorpyrifos will continue to be in fields across the state on more
than 50 food crops — including almonds, oranges and grapes.
Unfortunately for those living in agricultural communities, where homes
and schools are often right next to fields, this means they will
continue to be exposed to the chemical as it drifts on air currents.
Kids, in particular, bear the brunt of this harmful exposure; a
California Department of Public Health report
from 2014 showed chlorpyrifos to be one of the top 10 pesticides of
"public health concern" applied near schools in 15 counties.

While the Prop 65 listing doesn't reduce the amount of chlorpyrifos
in use, or limit community exposure, it helps build on the momentum to
take this chemical off the market once and for all. Viable alternatives exist.
It's time for California to invest in them, and in farmer innovations,
to keep the state's economy and communities thriving.

Pesticide Actio...

is dedicated to advancing alternatives to pesticides worldwide. Follow @pesticideaction

So.... now what about the rest of the states???