Oct 30, 2015 0 Comments in Neurotoxicity, Pesticides by

“A common pesticide used on citrus fruits, almonds and other crops would be banned under a proposal announced Friday by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The proposal would prohibit use of chlorpyrifos, a widely used insecticide that is sprayed on a variety of crops including oranges, apples, cherries, grapes, broccoli and asparagus.

The pesticide, in use since 1965, has sickened dozens of farmworkers in recent years. Traces have been found in waterways, threatening fish, and regulators say overuse could make targeted insects immune to the pesticide.

U.S. farms use more than 6 million pounds of the chemical each year — about 25 percent of it in California.

The EPA said it will take public comments on the proposal for at least two months, with a final rule expected in December 2016. The rule would not take effect until 2017 at the earliest.

The EPA said in a written statement that its current analysis does not suggest risks from exposure to chlorpyrifos in food. But when those exposures are combined with estimated exposure from drinking water in certain watersheds, “EPA cannot conclude that the risk from aggregate exposure meets the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act safety standard,” the statement said.

The EPA banned home use of chlorpyrifos in 2000 and placed “no-spray” buffer zones around sensitive sites, such as schools, in 2012.”      From http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/10/30/epa-may-ban-common-pesticide-used-on-fruits-and-vegetables/?intcmp=trending

In my book Neurotoxicity Guidebook, published in 1990, I presented case reports of people sickened by chlorpyrifos. I’ve also seen additional cases of chlorpyrifos poisoning and have provided information on this topic to courts adjudicating these cases. People with pesticide neurotoxicity may suffer from the effects of this poisoning for the rest of their lives. (I have followed up at least one of these cases for 25 years). I’m glad to see that EPA is taking a close look at this pesticide.

Although I clearly identified chlorpyrifos as neurotoxic as early as 1990, it took the EPA until the year 2000 to ban it for home use. That is 10 years of potentially harmful exposure that could have been avoided by the proper use of available data. We need not wait until all the dots have been connected to see the real picture. When I serve as an expert witness in such legal cases, the pesticide manufacturers can find scientists and doctors to say that more data is needed to reach a conclusion. However, over time, the truth does get out, scientific facts accumulate, and it is more difficult to dispute the clear fact that neurotoxic substances can damage the human nervous system, causing problems with memory, concentration, learning, reaction time, personality, emotion and other neuropsychological functions. Unfortunately, many people in litigation suffer injustice as a result of The Critic, who can point out flaws in other scientists’ work, but cannot themselves promote scientific advancement, build healing for patients, and allow justice to unfold.

There are safe alternatives to toxic pesticides. Organic food farmers in the United States and elsewhere grow abundant quantities of food without using toxic pesticides. Do we really want the residue of toxic pesticides in our food and water supply when safe alternatives are available? Does EPA take into account that the effects of the various neurotoxic pesticides are additive and cumulative?

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