Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt just overruled the recommendation of EPA scientists, rejecting a petition to ban the dangerous pesticide chlorpyrifos.1 EPA studies show that this pesticide affects fetal brain growth during pregnancy and causes neurological disorders. But instead of listening to his own agency's research, Pruitt sided with Dow Chemical and a way of thinking that puts business as usual ahead of protecting our health.2Chlorpyrifos is so toxic that it has been banned from use in household products since 2000. In the last decade, several large-scale studies have found that children with the chemical in their bloodstream had lower IQ scores than children who didn't, and that farmers who used chlorpyrifos-based pesticides suffered from memory loss and other neurological disorders.4 To combat the effects, farmers now wear protective clothing when using chlorpyrifos.5 Think about that. The chemical is so dangerous that farmers have to wear protective clothing, but they're spraying it on our fruit trees and vegetable plants.
In 2007, a coalition of environmental groups filed a petition to ban the use of chlorpyrifos.6 The law was on their side: Legally, the EPA is required to ban use of a chemical if it cannot be proven safe.7 But now Scott Pruitt shut down any further review of chlorpyrifos until 2022, putting people at risk for years to come.
An Earth Violator, anti-science, in charge of the EPA, think about that.