EPA takes Action Banning all food uses of Chlorpyrifos

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Chlorpyrifos linked to Developmental Neurotoxicity (DNT) in children.  

August 24, 2021 – San Diego, CA.  It took over 14 years for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to finally act in banning all food uses of a potent and dangerous chemical called chlorpyrifos.

Chlorpyrifos has a notorious past; it was an organophosphate pesticide developed by German scientists for the Nazis to be used in chemical warfare, and not used on crops.  

The widely used chlorpyrifos have been in use across American farm lands since the mid 60’s to battle common agricultural pests. It’s been applied and sprayed on everything from grapes, almonds, corn, wheat, strawberries, apples, citrus trees, and broccoli.  

As of August 18, 2021, all food uses of chlorpyrifos will be revoked six months from the final EPA ruling which is expected in the next few weeks.    

In July 2018 the University of California, Irvine did a study on chlorpyrifos titled “Evaluation of Chlorpyrifos as a Toxic Air Contaminant”, in this study the Panel concluded that chlorpyrifos should be listed as a toxic air contaminate pursuant to Food and Agricultural Code section 14023.  

This scientific panel review demonstrated that chlorpyrifos had a clear link to developmental neurotoxicity (DNT) in children.  Dangers noted in prenatal exposures include low birth weights, reduced IQ, attention disorders, and delayed motor development.

The study was clear in showing that the chemical was much more dangerous than previously known, and is associated with serious health effects in children and other sensitive populations and at far lower levels leading to impaired brain and neurological development.

How are People Exposed to Chlorpyrifos?

People have been exposed to chlorpyrifos in a number of ways: Direct exposure from contact with foods and drinking water or spray drifting from nearby applications on farms. Farm workers themselves are at risk from handling, mixing and applying chlorpyrifos.  

After reading the University of California study in October of 2019 California Governor Gavin Newsome issued this statement on the California Environmental Protection Agency’s ruling:  

“For years, environmental justice advocates have fought to get the harmful pesticide chlorpyrifos out of our communities,” thanks to their tenacity and the work of countless others, this will now occur faster than originally envisioned. This is a big win for children, workers and public health in California.”

Effectively the settlement agreement with Dow AgroSciences means three things:

  • All sales of chlorpyrifos products to growers in California will end on Feb. 6, 2020.
  • Growers will no longer be allowed to possess or use chlorpyrifos products in California after Dec. 31, 2020.
  • Until then, all uses must comply with existing restrictions, including a ban on aerial spraying, quarter-mile buffer zones and limiting use to crop-pest combinations that lack alternatives. DPR will support aggressive enforcement of these restrictions.

What took the EPA so long to act?

It was in 2007 that both the Pesticide Action Network (PAN) and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) filed a petition with the EAP to ban all chlorpyrifos based on various studies showing evidence of health risks. The EPA dragged its feet for seven years and did little to nothing on the matter.

The EPA was pressured by a number of lawsuits from environmental justice advocates, but in 2016 and 2019 the Trump administration’s EPA twice refused to ban chlorpyrifos.

Earthjustice, a law firm that represents health and labor organizations stepped in and issued its own lawsuit against the EPA to put a full ban on chlorpyrifos.

Patti Goldman, an attorney for Earthjustice made this statement: “It took far too long, but children will no longer be eating food tainted with a pesticide that causes intellectual learning disabilities,” she went on to say: “Chlorpyrifos will finally be out of our fruits and vegetables.”

It was then the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on April 29, 2021 gave its own ruling and simply wrote; ”the EPA’s time is now up,” it ordered the EPA to ban all food uses of chlorpyrifos or only use it if it can find safe uses for children and workers.

Will this lead to another round of pesticide lawsuits?

It’s quite possible that this highly toxic chemical could follow what took place for Bayer’s Roundup products. In court Bayer AG has offered to pay $8 billion to settle thousands of cancer lawsuit claims. Bayer also just recently reformulated to not contain the cancer causing glyphosate. 

The attorneys at Schmidt National Law Group will be closely following this EPA chlorpyrifos ban, and will take action if we receive any health complaints from families with children who may have been harmed from food contaminated with chlorpyrifos.

Do you think your child’s developmental disorders where caused by this toxic chemical? If so contact us today at 1-800-631-5656. Or use the 100% secure contact form on this page.

EPA takes Action Banning all food uses of Chlorpyrifos page updated on August 24, 2021.