TAKE ACTION: Tell the EPA to ban—now—this pesticide that is harming children's brains

Chlorpyrifos, manufactured by DowDuPont, is an neurotoxic organophosphate pesticide that’s been linked to severe birth defects, brain damage and mental disorders in children, even at very low levels.

Yet despite these known risks, and despite new evidence suggesting that Dow knew for decades how toxic chlorpyrifos is to children, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) still allows chlorpyrifos to be sprayed on more than 50 fruits, vegetables and nuts, including strawberries, almonds, oranges, broccoli and apples.

TAKE ACTION: Tell the EPA to ban—now—this pesticide that damages children’s brains

young girl in grassy meadow

We thought we’d finally won the battle against this pesticide, one of the most dangerous to children and farmers, when toward the end of the Obama administration, the EPA finally proposed a ban on chlorpyrifos.

But Trump’s new EPA director, Scott Pruitt (who since resigned after multiple scandals), overturned the ban.

Then, in August 2018, a federal appeals court ordered  the EPA to prohibit the use of chlorpyrifos within 60 days. 

You’d think that would have been the end of it. But on September 24, in an effort to stall once again, the EPA asked the court to rehear the case.

According to a study conducted in 2012, exposure to chlorpyrifos during early pregnancy produced permanent damage to the fetus' brain architecture. That same year, the EPA banned the chemical from use around schools and other public spaces, though not from golf courses, parks and lawns.

But chlorpyrifos residues are still allowed on your children’s food. Here’s how Beyond Pesticides describes chlorpyrifos:

Chlorpyrifos is highly neurotoxic. It is a cholinesterase inhibitor, which means that it can bind irreversibly to acetylcholine esterase (AchE), an essential enzyme for normal nerve impulse transmission, inactivating the enzyme. Studies have documented that exposure to even low levels of organophosphates like chlorpyrifos during pregnancy can impair learning, change brain function, and alter thyroid levels of offspring into adulthood. The evidence of the neurotoxic dangers associated with chlorpyrifos exposure is extensive and consistent. See the Pesticide Induced-Disease Database (PIDD) for more information.

It’s high time for the EPA to stop stalling, and start protecting kids and farmworkers instead of chemical companies like Dow.

Sign the Petition


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should immediately rescind its request to the Ninth Circuit Federal Appeals Court to rehear the case in which the court ordered the EPA to ban chlorpyrifos, and instead follow the court’s original order to ban this dangerous neurotoxin, linked to brain damage and mental disorders in children.

According to a new study published in in November 2018 in the journal Environmental Health, Dow, the manufacturer of chlorpyrifos, knew for decades that the widely used insecticide is harmful to humans—especially children and developing fetuses. But the company hid that information from regulators, both in the U.S. and EU.

Yet despite this new information, and despite the court’s ruling that chlorpyrifos should be banned from food production, this chemical continues to be sprayed on common foods, such as strawberries, broccoli and apples. 

In August 2017, 60 members of Congress, led by Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) and Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), sent a letter to then-EPA Director Scott Pruitt, asking how the EPA plans to protect Americans from harmful pesticides.

The letter noted how EPA scientists had previously concluded that the agency should ban chlorpyrifos, due to “significant evidence of the harmful effects it has on farmworkers and young children.”

From the letter

Research shows that prenatal exposures to chlorpyrifos are associated with reduced IQ, loss of working memory, attention disorders and delayed motor development.

Chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate pesticide, is classified as a neurotoxin. In addition to potentially causing reduced IQ, loss of working memory, attention disorders and delayed motor development, chlorpyrifos has been linked to autism, dyslexia and other brain-related injuries in millions of children.

Please put the health and safety of the public, especially its children and the workers who grow our food, ahead of Dow’s financial well-being, by banning chlorpyrifos immediately.

Thank you.