Environmentalists and farmworkers in California are pushing for the ban
of a commonly used conventional insecticide. Back in 2015, the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) under President Obama, proposed banning the insecticide,
called chlorpyrifos, because studies suggested it threatened human health.
Now that Trump is president, his administration has reversed the decision
and activists are now pushing for a ban.
What Is Chlorpyrifos?
Chlorpyrifos is an insecticide used primarily to control foliage and soil-borne
insect pests on a variety of food and feed crops, such as corn, soybeans,
fruit and nut trees, cranberries, broccoli and cauliflower. Around 6 million
pounds of the pesticide are used nationally every year. Farmers use it
to kill pests like ants, moths, larvae and worms. Chlorpyrifos also has
many non-agricultural uses, on golf courses, green houses, turf, utility
poles, and fence posts.
Why Is It Dangerous?
Chlorpyrifos is part of a class of chemicals called organophosphates, which
can poison the nervous systems of insects and mammals. Another organophosphate
you may be familiar with is sarin gas, the nerve agent used in the Tokyo
subway attack in 1995 that killed a dozen and injured over 4000 people.
At high doses, chlorpyrifos can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness and
disorientation. If large doses are ingested, it can lead to vomiting,
stomach aches, diarrhea—and even death.
What Happens Next?
In March, the chief of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, rejected the Obama-proposed
ban, which had been recommended by several EPA scientists. Now, the EPA
will not make any final decisions on chlorpyrifos until 2022, which has
angered many environmentalists and scientists. For now, certain states
have tightened restrictions on chlorpyrifos to analyze whether a statewide
ban is justified, but there is no certified ban as of yet. Only time will
tell what happens next.
If you believe you have been injured as a result of chlorpyrifos or another
pesticide, please contact the
Philadelphia environmental exposure lawyers at Golomb & Honik, P.C. Our practice has a proven track record and
recovered more than $2 billion in verdicts and settlements.
Call (215) 278-4449 or
contact us online
to speak with an attorney.