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farmer spraying pesticides

EPA Proposes Ban on Dow Pesticide

farmer spraying pesticidesThe EPA is proposing a ban on Dow AgroSciences’ insecticide chlorpyrifos from all agricultural uses, following a court order requiring the agency to respond to a lawsuit.

The EPA banned the toxic chemical from residential use 15 years ago.

In 2007, Earthjustice, on behalf of Pesticide Action Network (PAN) and Natural Resources Defense Council, filed a legal petition to ban chlorpyrifos.

According to PAN, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals called the EPA’s delay in regulating chlorpyrifos “egregious,” and ordered the agency to respond to the 2007 petition by Oct. 31.

In December 2014, the EPA acknowledged the peer-reviewed science correlating chlorpyrifos exposure with brain damage to children, including reduced IQ, delayed development, and loss of working memory. And it found drinking water contamination, particularly harmful to infants, and serious risks to workers from handling chlorpyrifos or entering the fields after spraying.

Dow spokesman Garry Hamlin told Bloomberg BNA that the company disagrees with the EPA’s proposed ban. He also said all of the issues raised in the 2014 EPA study can be resolved.

The EPA is now proposing to revoke all chlorpyrifos tolerances. This would end all uses of chlorpyrifos that result in residues on food, contamination of drinking water, or drift to schools, homes, and other places people are located.

Bloomberg BNA reports that the EPA expects to finalize its proposal in December 2016. But before the ban can be finalized, the proposal must go through a 60-day public comment period and the EPA will then need to review and respond to all of the comments it receives.

Photo Credit: farmer spraying pesticides via Shutterstock


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