Farmworkers Want Chlorpyrifos Pesticide Banned After EPA Refuses

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 LegalOur 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.