California bans sale of chlorpyrifos
The “toxic” pesticide will be phased out by February 2020 in order to protect public health and brain development in children.
The California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) has announced that the sale of the “toxic” pesticide, chlorpyrifos, will end in February 2020 as a result of an agreement between the California Department of Pesticide Regulation and pesticide manufacturers. Chlorpyrifos has already been banned in the states of Hawaii (2018) and New York (2019).
“California is leading the way to protect communities and the environment by ending of the sale of chlorpyrifos,” stated Rebecca Spector, West Coast director at Center for Food Safety (CFS). “This is a huge win for public health and the environment, especially for children who are particularly vulnerable to the harms caused by this toxic pesticide.”
The scientific data on the health impacts of chlorpyrifos is considered clear. Scientific and medical authorities – such as the Academy of Pediatrics, the Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health, UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency – have all concluded that chlorpyrifos can harm brain development in children. It is said to reduce children’s IQ and can increase the risk of learning disabilities.
“Because pregnant women, young children and farm workers are especially susceptible to harm from exposure to chlorpyrifos, ending the use of this dangerous product is the only path forward,” Spector continued.
CFS has also praised CalEPA for creating a new working group to identify, evaluate and recommend safer, more sustainable pest management alternatives to chlorpyrifos. CFS will engage with the work group to ensure that it uses the collective expertise of its members to recommend the least-toxic alternatives.
Following the Californian ban, other state-wide bans on chlorpyrifos are currently being considered in Maryland, Connecticut and New Jersey.