The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Greg Loarie, Earthjustice attorney,, 415-217-2000

California Recommends Few Restrictions on Pesticide Linked to Brain Damage

Restrictions fall far short of what is necessary to protect children and communities


Today, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation recommended weak, temporary restrictions on the controversial, neurotoxic pesticide chlorpyrifos. The California restrictions direct county agriculture commissioners to prohibit the use of chlorpyrifos on certain crops and eliminate aerial spraying. But despite numerous calls from scientists, communities, and a federal appeals court to ban chlorpyrifos immediately, the new California restrictions allow most uses of the pesticide to continue. This comes although a court of appeals ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to ban chlorpyrifos across the country earlier this year.

Pre-natal exposures to chlorpyrifos are associated with lower birth weight, reduced IQ, loss of working memory, attention disorders, and delayed motor development. It is also acutely toxic to workers. A court of appeals ruled in August Trump's Environmental Protection Agency must ban chlorpyrifos within 60 days, based on strong scientific evidence that says this pesticide is unsafe for public health, and particularly harmful to children and farmworkers. The federal government is stalling the decision.

The following statement is from Greg Loarie Earthjustice attorney:

"The recommended restrictions the California Department of Pesticide Regulation placed on chlorpyrifos today are weak and miss the mark. The science is overwhelming and irrefutable. Organophosphates like chlorpyrifos are simply too harmful to farmworkers, mothers, and children. As the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said in August, banning this nerve agent from our fruits and vegetables is the only way to protect vulnerable communities that suffer the impacts of pesticide exposure every day. California families deserve better."

For more information on chlorpyrifos click here.

Earthjustice is a non-profit public interest law firm dedicated to protecting the magnificent places, natural resources, and wildlife of this earth, and to defending the right of all people to a healthy environment. We bring about far-reaching change by enforcing and strengthening environmental laws on behalf of hundreds of organizations, coalitions and communities.