EPA to Ban Dangerous Pesticide Chlorpyrifos

Approximately 15 years after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned chlorpyrifos from residential use, the agency has proposed to ban the neurotoxic pesticide from use in agricultural fields as well. The announcement came after recent court of appeals decisions gave EPA a deadline to take meaningful action on a 2007 legal petition to ban the chemical.

In December 2014, EPA acknowledged the extensive body of peer-reviewed science correlating chlorpyrifos exposure with brain damage to children, including reduced IQ, delayed development, and loss of working memory.  Many of these studies were conducted in the Salinas Valley by research teams from the University of California Berkeley and Davis campuses.  And it found drinking water contamination, particularly harmful to infants, and serious risks to workers from handling chlorpyrifos or entering the fields after spraying.  

Ordered by a court to take regulatory action based on its scientific reviews, EPA is now proposing to revoke all chlorpyrifos tolerances.  This would end all uses of chlorpyrifos that result in residues on food, contamination of drinking water, or drift to schools, homes, and other places people are located.