|January 21, 2020 11:34 AM
|Senator Steven J. Santarsiero
|All Senate members
|Banning the Harmful Pesticide Chlorpyrifos
|Chlorpyrifos, a pesticide known to harm human health, water and wildlife, continues to be sprayed across millions of acres of farmland throughout the United States, nearly five years after the Environmental Protection Agency determined that it should be banned.
Studies over the past decade by Columbia University, the University of California at Davis, and UC Berkeley have all found that children whose mothers were exposed to the chemical while pregnant suffer negative effects, such as increased rates of autism and attention deficit disorder, as well as lower IQs. Young children are particularly vulnerable to the pesticide because their bodies and brains are still developing, and chemicals that interfere with the nervous system during development may cause long-term or permanent damage.
The health risks posed by continued spraying of chlorpyrifos are also especially high for farmworkers and rural communities. The Environmental Protection Agency’s own research has found that young children who eat fruit and vegetables sprayed with the pesticide can end up ingesting levels of the toxin 140 times what is considered safe.
It is time that Pennsylvania join the European Union and our nation’s top agricultural state, California, and ban the registration of chlorpyrifos to prevent the significant harm this pesticide causes children, farm workers, and vulnerable communities.
Please join me in sponsoring this important legislation.