Press Releases

Trump EPA Fails American Children on Toxic Brain Pesticide

The Trump EPA’s refusal to ban the toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos threatens the health of American children while providing no benefits, other than profits to chemical corporations. Chlorpyrifos, a chemical known to damage children’s brains and nervous systems, was banned from all home uses in 2002.

Less than two years ago, EPA scientists called for a broad ban on chlorpyrifos that would include agricultural uses, and the agency just last October proposed a full ban. Howeverthe Trump EPA reversed course, rejected the science, and has put the interests of the pesticide industry before our children’s health.

“This is a dangerous sign of things to come from this anti-science administration,” said Michael Green, Chief Executive Officer of CEH. “It is clear that the Trump agenda is to destroy a 40-year history of  vital health and environmental protection in America, just so they can reward their rich cronies.”

In light of the EPA announcement, CEH is calling on California Governor Jerry Brown and California’s EPA to take immediate action to ban agricultural uses of chlorpyrifos, in accordance with the scientific consensus that the chemical threatens public health.

Researchers at the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health found significant changes in the brain structure of children exposed to chlorpyrifos in the womb. California researchers have documented lower IQs among children whose mothers were exposed to chlorpyrifos and similar pesticides during pregnancy. Children living in farm communities are especially at risk, as chlorpyrifos can drift from nearby farms in their classrooms and homes, among other exposures.

As Oklahoma’s Attorney General, EPA Chief Scott Pruitt regularly sided with chemical and agribusiness interests over public health. Oklahoma leads the nation in pesticide-related illnesses and death.

A 2016 review by EPA Scientists estimated levels of chlorpyrifos in food as high as 14,000% over government safety levels for toddlers.

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