Pesticide to Be Banned Over Ties to Neurological Damage in Children
New rule to block the use of chlorpyrifos on food will take effect in six months
THURSDAY, Aug. 19, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- The Biden Administration said Wednesday that a widely used pesticide will be banned because it has been linked to neurological damage in children.
The new rule to block the use of chlorpyrifos on food will take effect in six months, the Environmental Protection Agency said.
"Today [the] EPA is taking an overdue step to protect public health," EPA head Michael Regan said in an agency news release. "Ending the use of chlorpyrifos on food will help to ensure children, farmworkers, and all people are protected from the potentially dangerous consequences of this pesticide."
Available since the mid-1960s and among the most widely used pesticides, chlorpyrifos is routinely applied to corn, soybeans, apples, broccoli, asparagus, and other produce, The New York Times reported. In April, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals told the EPA to stop agricultural use of the pesticide unless it could demonstrate its safety. The court order gave the EPA a deadline of Aug. 20 to either prove that chlorpyrifos is harmless to children or to end its use on food crops.
Several states have already banned chlorpyrifos. Studies have linked exposure to the pesticide with lower birth weights, reduced IQs, and other developmental problems in children, and a wide range of groups have long fought for a ban on chlorpyrifos, The Times reported. Chlorpyrifos can still be used on golf courses, turf, utility poles, and fence posts as well as in cockroach bait and ant treatments.