Thousands of community members and children's health advocates participated in our "week of action" last week, ramping up the pressure on California officials to take action on the brain-harming pesticide chlorpyrifos.
Our message? It's high time for the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) to provide leadership to protect children from this chemical that scientists link to IQ drops and increased risk of ADHD and autism. Thank you for helping to make the week of action successful!
Communities across the state have made it crystal clear that they want DPR to phase out this harmful pesticide, and take immediate steps — like protective buffer zones — to reduce children's exposure. Below is a quick roundup of the ways we worked together last week to highlight the issue for state officials.
Standing up and speaking out
On Monday we hosted a Twitter chat, highlighting the health impacts of chlorpyrifos, why we should be concerned for our children’s health and how can we help get it out of agriculture.
A5: A recent report from @CAPublicHealth shows CA schoolkids are at risk from drifting pesticides http://t.co/Uup5lnxS8w #talkpesticides
— Kristin Schafer (@KristinAtPAN) August 25, 2014
On Tuesday teachers in Monterey county joined hands to demand action on chlorpyrifos. Monterey county has some of the highest uses of the pesticide in the state, as per the recently released report by the California Department of Public Health.
On Wednesday we met with DPR officials to talk about chlorpyrifos and demand they take acton on this pesticide. We handed petitions demanding action — signed by over 25,000 people — directly to DPR director, Brian Leahy.
On Thursday we hosted a webinar on chlorpyrifos, delving into the science on the health impacts of the pesticide, the struggles of communities in California's Central Valley with chlorpyrifos, and what all of us, as individuals and members of communities can do to help get rid of it in the state.
On Friday we hosted a “Twitter storm” targeting DPR. Hundreds of tweets were sent by people from around the state demanding DPR take action now.
10 yrs to review #cpf is too long. @CA_Pesticides has put a generation of kids at risk. #twitterstorm #DPR #footdragging
— Medha Chandra (@ChandraMedha) August 29, 2014
Keeping the pressure on
Since chlorpyrifos is applied in large quantities and exposes communities to significant pesticide drift, we are demanding an immediate ban on aerial applications and other hazardous application methods — while DPR puts a plan in place to phase out all uses.
We hope the agency doesn’t underestimate the power of people, especially of parents and other adults who want to protect children from the harms of pesticides like chlorpyrifos. We plan to keep the pressure on, so stay tuned for more ways to you can help get rid of this brain-harming pesticide, once and for all.