President Trump’s EPA responded yesterday to a petition from public health and environmental groups who had pushed for a ban on the agricultural use of chlorpyrifos saying the toxic chemical is safe to still use. This action is due to an appellate court decision that had ordered the agency to respond to the petition.
Before even considering a ban EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt says the EPA needs to “provide regulatory certainty to the thousands of American farms that rely on chlorpyrifos.”
This pesticide has been linked to brain damage in children, low IQ, memory loss, and breathing problems. It had been banned for home use since 2000. Farmers, however, continue to spray it on crops.
This is one of many recent EPA decisions to weaken chemical safety laws. This year alone the EPA opted against a full ban on asbestos, issued weaker restrictions on paint-stripping chemicals, and expanded the allowance of the insecticide sulfoxaflor which was associated to be harmful to pollinators.
“Siding with pesticide corporations over the health and well-being of kids is the new normal at the EPA. Today’s decision underscores the sad truth that as long as the Trump administration is in charge, this EPA will favor the interests of the chemical lobby over children’s safety,” says Today’s decision underscores the sad truth that as long as the Trump administration is in charge, this EPA will favor the interests of the chemical lobby over children’s safety.
While it is not a federal ban, many states have implanted or will soon be implementing their own bans on this pesticide.