Ban Chlorpyrifos and Keep Our Children Safe!

Final signature count: 19,038

Sponsor: The Hunger Site

Chlorpyrifos has been linked to serious health issues in children. Tell the EPA to ban it now!

The EPA's decision to limit the use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos rather than take it off the market puts the health of all children in the US at risk.

Farmers have been using chlorpyrifos since 1965 under the trade name Lorsban1. Chlorpyrifos is commonly used to keep insects and worms out of everything from almond groves to strawberry fields to citrus orchards. Until 2000 it was used indoors for keeping houseflies at bay. That was before the federal government's own environmental scientists linked the toxic chemicals in chlorpyrifos to serious health issues.

Chlorpyrifos residue commonly shows up on unwashed supermarket produce. When ingested, it attacks the nervous system, causing dizziness, vomiting and diarrhea1. When farmers apply chlorpyrifos to their plants, they must wear special clothing to protect themselves.

The danger doesn't stop there.

Chlorpyrifos has also been linked to stunted brain growth in children, which led to a ban on its use in agricultural operations in 20152. Five years later, the EPA reversed its stance on chlorpyrifos, citing uncertainty about those previously proven risks3.

The EPA directly contradicted federal scientists' conclusions that chlorpyrifos causes developmental disabilities in children4.

Rather, the agency posted new rules for labeling packages containing chlorpyrifos and recommended wearing personal protection equipment during use and avoiding applications on windy days5.

Labeling requirements will not keep chlorpyrifos out of our drinking water. Personal protection equipment will not keep chlorpyrifos out of our food. Keeping chlorpyrifos from drifting into other fields will not keep our children safe from this toxic chemical.

The science on chlorpyrifos is clear and unambiguous, and it has no place on our food or in our fields. Sign the petition below and demand the EPA ban the use of chlorpyrifos on food.

More on this issue:

  1. Dan Charles, NPR (29 March 2017), "EPA Decides Not To Ban A Pesticide, Despite Its Own Evidence Of Risk."
  2. Lisa Friedman, The New York Times (23 September 2020),"E.P.A. Rejects Its Own Findings That a Pesticide Harms Children's Brains."
  3. United States Environmental Protection Agency (March 2017), "Order Denying Petition to Revoke All Tolerances for the Pesticide Chlorpyrifos."
  4. Britt E. Erickson, Chemical & Engineering News (11 September 2017), "U.S. EPA’s chlorpyrifos decision spurs pushback."
  5. United States Environmental Protection Agency (4 December 2020), "EPA Proposes New Safety Measures for Chlorpyrifos."
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The Petition:

To the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency,

Given all we know about the toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos, there is no justification for the EPA's recent limitations of its use.

Chlorpyrifos has been linked to stunted brain growth and developmental disabilities in children. Federal scientists gathered data taken from hundreds of mothers and their babies to back up these claims, even analyzing umbilical cord fluid in their research.

The farmers who apply this chemical won't even get near it without protective equipment on.

Yet, every spring season, children around the U.S. are facing low-dose exposure to this dangerous chemical.

The ban on chlorpyrifos in agricultural applications should have never been lifted. This harmful chemical must be kept out of our food system. I demand you ban the use of chlorpyrifos on food products today.

Every day it remains on the market puts the health of our children at risk.


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