California Moves to Study, Not Ban, Toxic Chlorpyrifos

CALPIRG Education Fund

Today, California officials at the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA), Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR), and Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) announced planned steps to address the threat of the pesticide chlorpyrifos, including further planned scientific reviews of the pesticide by both OEHHA and DPR, and the potential listing of chlorpyrifos as a Prop 65 chemical known to cause cancer. Statement by Emily Rusch, Executive Director of CALPIRG Education Fund in response to the announcement:  

“The Brown administration should recognize that the science of the harmful effects of chlorpyrifos is well-established. The science is already in–it’s now time for California to act to protect our families and eliminate its use in California. 

Multiple scientific studies have concluded that chlorpyrifos poses a distinct risk to infants, pregnant women, and to the brain development of young children. For over a decade, the US Environmental Protection Agency has banned the use of chlorpyrifos in the home because of the known, acknowledged dangers posed by chlorpyrifos. 

And only a few months ago, over a dozen farmworkers in Bakersfield experienced acute health problems after being exposed to dangerous levels of the pesticide. Its continued use on farms and in our food is unacceptable. 

The announcement today delays needed protections for public health. Further, the state’s risk assessment, which is available for public comment until October 2, does not consider the full neurodevelopmental toxicity risks to children that are posed by this pesticide. The omission could lead to a flawed outcome if those risks are not fully evaluated.”