All food uses of chlorpyrifos will be revoked six months from the final rule’s publication in the Federal Register, which will likely happen in the coming weeks.
Additionally, nonfood uses of the pesticide, such as mosquito control and nurseries, will be subject to review in 2022.
In April, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the EPA to ban all food uses of chlorpyrifos or retain only those uses it can find safe for children, as a result of a lawsuit filed by health and labor organizations represented by Earthjustice.
“It took far too long, but children will no longer be eating food tainted with a pesticide that causes intellectual learning disabilities. Chlorpyrifos will finally be out of our fruits and vegetables,” said Earthjustice attorney Patti Goldman. “But chlorpyrifos is just one of dozens of organophosphate pesticides in our fields that can harm children’s development. EPA must ban all organophosphates from food.”
Earthjustice released a report this month showing widespread use of chlorpyrifos in the United States and how the country is exposed to this pesticide through drinking water, food and air.
The report documents the location and amount of chlorpyrifos usage in the United States, as well as the dangerous health effects associated with exposure.
The data Earthjustice analyzed, which includes information on 16 other organophosphates, is available for the public to extract and explore in a searchable database at earthjustice.org/organophosphates.
Studies from Columbia University, University of California Berkeley and other renowned institutions show that chlorpyrifos can damage the developing brains of children, causing reduced IQ, loss of working memory, and attention deficit disorders.
Reactions from Earthjustice Clients
“Today, we celebrate this huge victory alongside the men and women who harvest our food, who have waited too long for a ban on this pesticide,” said Teresa Romero, president of United Farm Workers. “We are relieved that farmworkers and their families will no longer have to worry about the myriad of ways this pesticide could impact their lives.”
“We are pleased that the EPA finally put a robust plan to ban chlorpyrifos in motion. This pesticide was banned for residential use some 20 years ago, because of its known impacts on children living in urban areas,” said Jeannie Economos from the Farmworker Association of Florida. “Farmworker children in rural areas are just as valuable as children anywhere in the world, and it is unconscionable that it has taken so long to provide equal protection to these beautiful, yet vulnerable, children in our agricultural communities.”