Chlorpyrifos is a neurotoxin and a number of organization have been calling for its complete ban in the United States. The chemical has been banned for personal use for number of years and is only used in agricultural fields, especially strawberry fields.
The EPA has decided to implement a complete agricultural ban on the organpphosphate and has published proposed rules subject to public commentary. The EPA intends to ban and elemintae chropyrifos completely from agriculture. Other non food uses including golf courses, turf and green houses will remain, still impacting on California’s water supply as their use has a substantial impact on water contamination.
EPA’s action is based on a court order from a Federal court judge, the honorable Judge Margaret McKeown, of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal who ordered the EPA in August of this year to respond to a petition filed by the Pesticide Action Network North America and the Natural Resources Defense Council nine years ago. The judge ordered the EPA to deny the petition or issue a revocation rule by October 31, 2015.
EPA’s decision to revoke food tolerances for chlorpyrifos was based upon the risk under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). The law requires the agency to consider all sources of exposure to a certain chemical. Chlorpyrifos when aggregated with potential exposure through drinking water exceeds safety standards in watersheds where chlorpyrifos is heavily used.
The decision will still impact on the public health safety of drinking water in California.