Chlorypyrifos was initially developed prior to World War II as a chemical weapon. Today the chemical is a widely used pesticide with 6 million pounds sprayed annually on crops like citrus, apples, and cherries.
Chlorypyrifos is so toxic that when applying the pesticide to fields, workers must wear protective garments such as respirators and are banned from entering the fields for up to 5 days after application due to chemical exposure risk.
At the end of last year, a scientific paper in the journal PLOS Medicine, a peer-reviewed weekly medical journal, warned of the dangers the entire genre of organophosphate pesticides pose to children’s health and development. The article cited evidence that found exposure to these chemicals, even at levels previously considered safe, can lead to cognitive problems, including reduced IQ, developmental delays, and increased risk of learning disabilities in children.
Just as you might expect, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under President Trump is currently ignoring the clear science behind the danger these pesticides place upon farm workers and consumers.Though the EPA originally proposed to ban Chlorpyrifos in 2016, the decision was subsequently reversed in 2017 with help of Trump’s corrupt corporate-backed stooge EPA director Scott Pruitt.
But good news may, at last, be on the horizon. Hawaii has become the first state in the U.S. to ban Chlorpyrifos, (effective 2022), and new legislation has recently been introduced banning Chlorpyrifos on a national level.