“The chance to prevent brain damage in children was a low bar for most of Scott Pruitt’s predecessors, but it apparently just wasn’t persuasive enough for an administrator who isn’t sure if banning lead from gasoline was a good idea…
“Instead, in one of his first major decisions as head of the EPA, like a toddler running toward his parents, Pruitt leaped into the warm and waiting arms of the pesticide industry.”
Though deadly to human health, wildlife and to the environment, chlorpyrifos has been the most widely used pesticide in the United States for decades. A neurotoxic pesticide manufactured by Dow Chemical, chlorpyrifos is acutely toxic and associated with extreme neurodevelopmental harm in children and prenatal exposure has been found to cause lower birth weight, reduced IQ, loss of working memory, attention disorders, and delayed motor development. Direct exposure, by inhalation, skin contact or ingestion, as happens to both farm workers and residents living in proximity to agricultural areas, and to others even further away, causes convulsions, respiratory paralysis, and, in some cases, death. As to the “others” referenced, they can and do include anyone who consumes agricultural products that contain a residue of chlorpyrifos, as well as people whose drinking water has been contaminated with the pesticide and people breathing air exposed to a toxic spray of wind-blown chlorpyrifos. (“What You Should Know – Chlorpyrifos The toxic pesticide now harming our children and environment”)
Due to its overwhelming and overpowering risk of harm, residential use of chlorpyrifos was outlawed by the EPA almost two decades ago, but its widespread commercial use continues.
Recent studies have shown that a minimal degree of prenatal exposure causes permanent harm and an EPA human health risk