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High Levels of Brain-Harming Pesticide Chlorpyrifos Detected in Minnesota Waterways

Controversial insecticide already being banned in other states

For Immediate Release: August 7, 2018

Minneapolis, MN – On August 7, researchers at the University of Minnesota released an installment of Crop News warning of increased levels of the pesticide chlorpyrifos detected in Minnesota waterways. Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate that has been linked to brain and nervous system damage, especially in children. The EPA decided to ban the insecticide in 2016 after more than a decade of public process. Then, in 2017, the decision was reversed by former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, who resigned earlier this summer.

In response, Hawaiʻi signed legislation to ban the chemical statewide. Just last week, California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation listed chlorpyrifos as a Toxic Air Contaminant, beginning a process that may result in another statewide ban.

According to data from the U.S. Department of the Interior, Western Minnesota has some of the highest chlorpyrifos use in the nation.

The University of Minnesota statement reads: “If the [best management practices] prove ineffective at decreasing detections of chlorpyrifos in surface waters, mandatory restrictions on use and practices may be required by MDA.”

“We know that chlorpyrifos is harmful to kids’ brains. Yet, Minnesota is using this dangerous chemical at higher rates than most states. Years of voluntary management practices haven’t protected our waterways. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture should follow through on mandatory restrictions now.” – Willa Childress, Minnesota Organizer,  Pesticide Action Network

Press contact: Willa Childress, (612) 254-9222


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Pesticide Action Network

Pesticide Action Network is dedicated to advancing alternatives to pesticides worldwide. Follow @pesticideaction

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