Tell Gov. Brown: Ban the dangerous pesticide chlorpyrifos!
Trump’s EPA is refusing to ban a commonly-used pesticide that’s known to damage brain development in children and is unsafe at any level. Chlorpyrifos is sprayed on fruits and vegetables like strawberries, broccoli, apples, and oranges. It gets absorbed into the food -- peeling or washing won’t get rid of it.
In 2015, the EPA announced that after years of study, it couldn’t guarantee the safety of chlorpyrifos, and recommended banning it. Then Trump came into office and put Scott Pruitt -- a climate change denier and enemy of environmental regulation -- in charge of the EPA. Now the EPA is just ignoring its own findings and refusing to ban this dangerous chemical.
We may not be able to influence Trump’s EPA, but we can get this chemical banned in California. This would have a huge impact -- the state grows two thirds of the country’s fruit and nuts, and a third of our vegetables. California uses about 20% of the nation's chlorpyrifos, meaning that if we can ban it here we can put a real dent in the national market for this dangerous poison.
California Governor Jerry Brown can order the California Department of Pesticide Regulation to ban this chemical -- but he needs to hear from more of the public. Gov. Brown is considering his environmental legacy, and he's promised to resist the Trump administration. Ask him to ban chlorpyrifos now to help protect consumers, farmworkers, and communities around the nation.
Below is the text of your petition to California Gov. Jerry Brown:
Dear Governor Brown,
I am writing to express my dismay at U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s recent refusal to ban the neurotoxic organophosphate pesticide chlorpyrifos on all food crops. I urge you to step in where the federal government has failed.
Childhood and prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos can lead to changes in brain structure, loss of IQ, ADHD, developmental and behavioral disorders and reduced lung function and other harms.
Recognizing the threat to children’s development posed by chlorpyrifos exposure, the U.S. EPA banned all home use of chlorpyrifos in 2001, but allowed its continued use in agricultural fields — leaving children in farmworker communities at disproportionate risk from this hazardous pesticide.
More chlorpyrifos is used on fields in California than in any other state in the nation, with more than 1 million pounds applied to crops each year. This is disturbing since among other findings, U.S. EPA scientists concluded at the end of last year that:
- All chlorpyrifos food exposures exceed safe levels, with children 1-2 years of age having an estimated risk of exposure at 14,000% of the level U.S. EPA scientists consider safe. Infants' exposure risk is 9,300% of the levels agency’s scientists consider safe, with youth exposure risks at 11,000% and women of childbearing age at 6,200% of acceptable levels.
- U.S. EPA scientists also concluded that levels of chlorpyrifos in the air pose a risk to children and women of childbearing age, with the highest air concentrations found at air monitoring sites in California.
- All workers who mix and apply chlorpyrifos are exposed to levels U.S. EPA scientists consider unsafe, regardless of protective equipment and other safety measures.
In light of these conclusions from agency scientists, and an incredibly solid body of scientific evidence showing harm to children and farmworker health, it is time to discontinue use of this clearly hazardous pesticide. I urge you to ban use of chlorpyrifos in California.
Thank you for your leadership on this important issue,