There?s a new victory for environmentalists, health advocates and anyone who cares about their health: a federal court ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to ban the toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos.
The decision puts an end to the EPA?s lengthy history of stall tactics and seeming unwillingness to protect people or the environment from this nasty toxic chemical.
The EPA?s History of Stall Tactics and Non-Protection
The EPA banned the brain-damaging pesticide from household use almost two decades ago in 2000. But, the so-called ?environmental protection? agency continued to allow the toxic chemical to grow food and for other agricultural purposes.
Additionally, the EPA had planned to completely ban chlorpyifos over a year ago but then mysteriously reversed its decision after meeting with the CEO of Dow Chemical, Andrew Liveris. Scott Pruitt, the then EPA administrator. Instead, they decided to keep the brain-damaging insecticide in use and to reverse the ban.
While the court has ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to ban the toxic pesticide, a spokesperson for the agency said that the agency ?is reviewing the decision.? That sounds like still another stall tactic by the agency that has already been court-ordered to immediately ban the chemical. Interestingly, and not surprisingly, as part of the decision, the judge admonished the EPA for ?having stalled on banning chlorpyrifos,? and ordered that all commercial registrations for chlorpyrifos be cancelled or revoked within 60 days.
Chlorpyrifos?A Serious Brain Toxin
Also known as CPF, or Dursban, the pesticide is an established nerve agent that has been linked to disruption of the brain messenger acetylcholine which is involved in memory and motor function and poor coordination, interference in the formation of brain cells and communication between brain cells, hyperactivity, learning impairment, depression?and other social and emotional changes. It has also been linked to headaches, blurred vision, unusual fatigue and other health issues.
Children are the Most Vulnerable
Research published in the journal Neurotoxicology found that the developing brains of children, especially those who are two years old and under, are most vulnerable to the harmful effects of these toxic pesticides.
Research published in the journal Pediatrics found that children with high exposures to this herbicide are more vulnerable to attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other developmental disorders. Yet, children are often the ones who are most exposed to the chemical because it is still sprayed on schoolyards and playgrounds. Another study published in Pediatrics found that fetal exposure may be linked to developmental problems.
In a study published in the journal Environmental Health, researchers labelled chlorpyrifos exposure as the ?Silent Epidemic? that is destroying our brain and neurological health.
How to Minimize Your Exposure to Chlorpyrifos
While the chemical will remain in the environment long after the ban is officially implemented, there are still things you can do to limit your exposure, including:
-Eat organic food as much as possible. Organic food is not sprayed with harmful pesticides; however, it may still come in contact with them during transportation or in grocery stores. Ideally, choose organic food at your local farmer?s market from a farmer that you know is exclusively growing organically.
-Avoid grass or parks that have been sprayed. And, definitely do not let your children play in the grass of parks or lawns that have been sprayed with pesticides. If you?re not sure about the area, assume it has been sprayed.
-Avoid spraying your lawn, flower, fruit or vegetable gardens with chemical pesticides of any kind.
-Don?t spray any chemical insecticides in your home.
-Grow your own sprouts. Not only is it the best example of eating locally, as long as you use organic seeds and pure water, they?ll be pesticide-free. Learn more about how to grow your own sprouts here.
-Place a ?Pesticide-free? yard sign to encourage others to do the same and to contribute to the increasing number of yards that are pesticide-free.
–Write to the EPA telling them to follow the court order and insisting that they not employ further stall tactics or waste more taxpayer money by appealing the decision. You can reach them by mail at: Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20460. You can also make your opinions known on their Facebook page, Twitter page, Instagram page?or Flickr page.
Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-newsletter World?s Healthiest News, the Cultured Cook, co-founder of BestPlaceinCanada, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: The Cultured Cook: Delicious Fermented Foods with Probiotics to Knock Out Inflammation, Boost Gut Health, Lose Weight & Extend Your Life.? Follow her work.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.
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