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Indybay Feature
Fri Aug 18 2017 (Updated 08/21/17)
Air Testing Shows Unsafe Levels of Brain-Harming Pesticide in Kern County
Chlorpyrifos in Air More Than 18 Times Higher Than EPA Level of Concern
Chlorpyrifos, a neurotoxic pesticide linked to IQ loss and autism, has been found in the air in Kern County in amounts far in excess of the level of concern established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for pregnant women, according to 2016 air monitoring data released on August 17 by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation.

Chlorpyrifos, which is primarily manufactured by Dow Chemical Co., was banned for home use in 2000 because of links to a wide range of neurological and developmental impacts. Slated this year for a total federal ban on all food uses, the proposed ban was reversed in March by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who offered no scientific basis for his decision. California officials are now weighing a statewide ban based on the assessment by EPA scientists.

A ban can’t come soon enough for residents of California’s farming communities, who worry about the effect of chronic exposure on the wellbeing of their children. "There has to be a better way to grow food that doesn't increase kids' health risks," said Gary Rodriguez, a 4th grade teacher in Shafter.

Read More | California Pursues New Health Protections on Chlorpyrifos

See Also: imc_photo.gif Farmworker communities from Monterey Bay Area call on California to ban brain-harming pesticide chlorpyrifos | California’s Attorney General Asks EPA to Ban Brain-Harming Pesticide | As Trump’s EPA abandons protections, Farmworker communities call on California to ban brain-harming chlorpyrifos | EPA Analysis: 97 Percent of Endangered Species Threatened by Two Common Pesticides

Related Features: Trump Administration Waives Water-Protection Rule for California Oilfields | Tulare County Has Most Agricultural Pesticide Illnesses in California | EPA Failed to Protect the Health of Latino Schoolchildren
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