For Immediate Release: 22 February 2019
Sacramento, CA — California State Senator Maria Elena Durazo has introduced Senate Bill 458, the “Protect Children from Brain-Damaging Chlorpyrifos Act of 2019” in the California legislature. This bill would prohibit the use of pesticide products that contain the active ingredient chlorpyrifos.
A robust and growing body of scientific studies show myriad health impacts associated with prenatal exposure to brain-harming chlorpyrifos, including poorer perceptual reasoning, working memory and reductions in IQ levels. Chlorpyrifos is a suspected hormone-disrupting compound, and dietary exposure to it at levels common among U.S. children may also contribute to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). In 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that for children one to two years of age, exposures from food exceeded EPA’s safety threshold by 140 times.
Almost 1 million pounds of chlorpyrifos were applied for agricultural use in California in 2016.
Medha Chandra, Campaign Coordinator and Organizer with Pesticide Action Network, issued this statement:
“PAN applauds the introduction of California Senate Bill 458. While the U.S. EPA banned chlorpyrifos for home, lawn and garden use in 2000, its agricultural uses have had a much more disturbing history. In 2017, U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt ignored the findings of EPA’s own scientists and rejected the proposed federal ban on chlorpyrifos for use on food crops. In this scenario, it is important that progressive agricultural powerhouse states like California take the lead to protect vulnerable communities across the state from the potent neurotoxicant.
The California Department of Pesticide Regulations (DPR) has put in place some minimal permit conditions and proposed the pesticide be designated a Toxic Air Contaminant. However, these steps are inadequate to protect communities at the frontlines of exposures, such as primarily Latinx communities — including farmworkers — in rural California.
A complete prohibition on the uses of this pesticide is critical to protect children across the state from the brain-harming impacts of chlorpyrifos.”