The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) voted this week to ban the use of the pesticide Chlorpyrifos, a chemical used on over 50 fruit and nut products, including broccoli, oranges, apples, and almonds. Chlorpyrifos, a chemical compound manufactured by leading agricultural brand DowDuPont, can cause brain and nervous system damage. In some studies, it lowered IQ, increased the rate of attention deficit disorders, and reduced working memory.
In 2000, the EPA banned the chemical for residential use– but permitted its use for commercial agriculture. Since then, environmental and farmers rights groups have lobbied to have the drug removed from commercial use. They successfully pressured members of the EPA enough first to consider a ban on the substance in 2007. Eight years later, in 2015, the Ninth Circuit court of appeals ordered the EPA to set in place a ban on the product. Since then, both the Obama and Trump administrations have dragged their feet on concluding one way or the other until 2017. In 2017, members of the Trump-led EPA ruled that Chlorpyrifos was safe to use in commercial settings. They cited the “uncertainty” of the science surrounding the banning of the chemical in other contexts.
After the 2017 decision, various environmental groups lobbied the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to get the EPA to finalize a proposed ban on the substance. On August 9th, nearly a year after the first groups lobbied the Ninth Circuit Court, they released a statement declaring the EPA must come to a consensus on the ban in the next 60 days.
Pesticides and You
Before you throw out all your fruits and veggies and reach for their organic counterparts, there are steps you can take to minimize your exposure to Chlorpyrifos and other pesticides. Filling a bowl with one-part white vinegar to four-parts water, drop your produce in the solution, and allow to clean for 20 minutes, being sure to rinse the fruit well afterward.
Other methods that you can encounter a pesticide include inhalation exposure or breathing them in, and dermal exposure, through your hands, skin, or eyes. Pesticides can enter the body by any or every one of the three of these methods of contact. Inward breath presentation can happen on the off chance that you inhale air containing pesticide as a vapor, as an airborne, or on little particles like residue. Oral presentation occurs when you eat something or drink water containing pesticides. Dermal introduction happens when your skin encounters pesticides. In more severe cases, your skin can assimilate the pesticide into the body, causing other impacts on your well-being.
Pesticides can cause destructive impacts over an expanded period, typically following rehashed or ceaseless introduction at low levels. Low measurements don’t generally cause immediate effects, yet after some time, they can cause severe ailments.
Long haul pesticide consumption causes the development or acceleration of Parkinson’s; asthma; sadness and tension; growths, including leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).