Last week our allies achieved a big win for Americans’ health! A federal court ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to move forward with a ban on chlorpyrifos—a toxic pesticide known to harm children’s brains that is used on many different crops, including nuts, apples and berries—within 60 days. The EPA proposed the ban in 2016 but it had languished under the Trump administration, despite the overwhelming scientific evidence showing exposure to low levels of the pesticide in early life can harm children.
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC):
This decision supports the efforts of pediatricians, public health experts, and farmworker advocates to protect children from a chemical found to contaminate the food supply, drinking water, and the air in agricultural communities. Significant science—including from EPA itself—shows that exposure to low levels of the pesticide in early life can lead to increased risk of learning disabilities, including reductions in IQ, developmental delay and ADHD. Farmworkers—many of whom are Latinx—and their children face additional, disproportionate risk because the chemical is used so close to where they live, work, and go to school—resulting in exposures from air, drinking water, and dust in their homes.
Congratulations to NRDC, Pesticide Action Network North America, Learning Disabilities Association of America, Earthjustice and others!