WASHINGTON—Late yesterday, the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reneged on a proposed ban of the brain-damaging pesticide, chlorpyrifos. Obama’s EPA had proposed the ban in 2015, the result of a decade-long effort by public interest groups to protect American children from the neurotoxic insecticide. The Trump administration’s decision to approve continued use of this known toxin comes shortly before a court-ordered deadline for EPA to take final action by March 31st. Dow AgroSciences, the company that manufactures chlorpyrifos, moved aggressively to get the ban proposal lifted by exploiting the new administration’s hostility to science and EPA regulations that protect public health and the environment.
Long-term studies from EPA and the National Institutes of Health demonstrate that when pregnant women are exposed to chlorpyrifos, their children grow up to have lower IQ scores, increased rates of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and poorer mental development than unexposed children. Most people are exposed to chlorpyrifos through consuming food contaminated by the pesticide.