Credo Action

California must ban chlorpyrifos, the toxic pesticide that damages children's brains

Sign the petition

The petition to California Gov. Jerry Brown reads:

"Chlorpyrifos, the toxic insecticide widely used on California farms, is a massive threat to farmworkers and known to damage the nervous systems and brains of infants and children. Take immediate action to protect Californians in the face of Donald Trump’s anti-science, anti-immigrant policies and ban this toxic chemical."

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    California must ban chlorpyrifos, the toxic pesticide that damages children's brains

    In an extremely dangerous reversal of the Obama administration, Scott Pruitt — the climate-denying, anti-science head of Environmental Protection Agency — has ignored his own agency's recommendations to ban chlorpyrifos, the toxic agricultural pesticide known to damage the nervous systems of infants and children.

    Chlorpyrifos is so toxic that it's been banned for home use since 2000, yet farmworkers, many of whom are immigrants, and others who live near farms, including small children, are exposed to this hazardous neurotoxin on a daily basis.

    Even though the federal government under Donald Trump continues to ignore science and risk public health, we have a real opportunity in California — the largest agricultural state in the nation — to ban chlorpyrifos. We must urge California Gov. Jerry Brown to take the lead and ban this dangerous pesticide for good.

    Tell Gov. Brown: Ban the toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos.

    Chlorpyrifos is the most widely used insecticide in the world, with an estimated 40,000 farms dumping 6 to 10 million pounds on crops each year.1 The chemical belongs to the same family as sarin nerve gas, and exposure is linked to permanent changes in brain structure, loss of IQ, increased likelihood of children developing ADHD or other developmental and behavioral disorders, reduced lung function, and asthma development.2

    What's more, a University of California, Davis study found that pregnant women in their second trimester who were exposed to chlorpyrifos were three times as likely to give birth to a child who would develop autism.3

    California uses more than 1 million pounds of chlorpyrifos per year — more than any other state in the country. Latinx school children are about twice as likely to be exposed, and EPA scientists have found that chlorpyrifos in food exceed safe levels. In fact, toddlers are exposed to levels 14,000 percent higher than what is considered safe.4

    Tell Gov. Brown: Ban the toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos.

    While California Attorney General Xavier Becerra recently joined six other state attorneys general in a legal filing — with a highly uncertain outcome — calling on the EPA to ban chlorpyrifos, Gov. Brown has the authority to take immediate action to protect Californians in the face of Trump’s anti-science, anti-immigrant policies and ban this toxic chemical.

    CREDO, along with our allies at the Pesticide Action Network, Friends of the Earth and other organizations, will deliver petition signatures to Gov. Brown on July 12. We must act now to convince the governor to ban chlorpyrifos to protect our children, California farmworkers and public health.

    Tell Gov. Brown: Ban the toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos.

    Thanks for all you do.

    References

    1. Aseem Prakash and Nives Dolšak, "Why did Scott Pruitt refuse to ban a chemical that the EPA itself said is dangerous?," The Washington Post, April 12, 2017.
    2. Pesticide Action Network, "Chlorpyrifos," accessed June 21, 2017.
    3. Zoë Schlanger, "The US government is ignoring its own scientists’ warning that a Dow pesticide causes brain damage in children, Quartz, March 30, 2017.
    4. Center for Environmental Health, "Trump EPA Fails American Children on Toxic Brain Pesticide," March 30, 2017.