On October 13, PAN joined 13,000 individuals and organizations from across the U.S. to send a letter to Lisa Jackson, head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calling for a complete ban on the pesticide chlorpyrifos and a phase out of other organophosphate (OP) pesticides.
It’s been a decade since the pesticide chlorpyrifos was banned for home use because of the many hazards it poses to children, including a host of pervasive developmental and behavioral disorders, asthma, lung cancer, low birth weights, and more. Despite these and other known risks, hundreds of thousands of children in agricultural communities around the country still face regular exposure to this potent neurotoxin because it remains widely used in agricultural fields.
Today’s effort is led by the Farmworker Pesticide Project based in Seattle, WA, and joined by many including Dr. Theo Colborn of the The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX). Colborn announced the addition of chlorpyrifos to their publicly-accessible on-line database, Critical Windows of Development, spotlighting animal research that links prenatal, low dose chlorpyrifos exposure to altered health outcomes in the brain and other organs.
For several years PAN has targeted chlorpyrifos for a complete U.S. ban. We have documented the presence of chlorpyrifos in farmworker communities from California to Washington. We have joined with EPA scientists to argue that the agency's registration decisions failed to take into consideration the chemical's effects on developing children. In 2007 PAN joined farmworkers and NRDC in two chlorpyrifos-related petitions to EPA. And today we argue that the scientific evidence damns chlorpyrifos as an unacceptable hazard to children — from fetuses to toddlers in rural and urban areas alike. The evidence has continued to mount such that it’s even harder to fathom that the EPA continues to allow its use. We await their response and will keep you posted.