During the last administration, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared that chlorpyrifos should be banned do not meet the legal chemical safety standards and proposed a federal ban on the chemical. However, in March 2017, the current presidential administration halted the ban on this dangerous chemical.
Despite numerous petitions to ban the chemical, chlorpyrifos is still widely used. As such, it continues to cause detrimental effects on humans and the environment. Nine states have taken to sue the EPA for failure to ban the chemicals and its negligence to protect children from the harm chlorpyrifos causes, and this case is still pending.
Why is Chlorpyrifos a Problem?
Chlorpyrifos was first developed by the Nazis as a nerve gas for chemical warfare, but later repurposed as an application for agricultural uses. Since the 1960s, chlorpyrifos has been used for both commercial and residential pesticides as a way to control common pests. The chemical attacks the neurological system of pests, like termites, fleas, and rodents.
Chlorpyrifos is commonly used on more than 40,000 farms across the nation. It is a common pesticide for 50 different types of crops, including grapes, almonds, strawberries, applies, citrus, broccoli, corn, and more. However, upon repeated doses, the same neurotoxin that kills bugs starts to hurt people.
Who is at Risk of Exposure?
Chlorpyrifos impacts humans and children and pregnant women are particularly susceptible to its harm. A property of this chemical is that it can easily be transferred and travel into soils, air, crops, and groundwater, thereby contaminating air, food, and drinking water. The chemical is certainly harmful if it is touched, inhaled, or eaten. Symptoms include runny nose, tears, increased saliva or drooling, excess sweating, headache, dizziness, nausea, abdominal muscle cramps, muscle twitching, weakness, loss of coordination, and more. The affects can appear in minutes or hours and can last days or weeks.
Farm workers and rural families are by far the most exposed to it because of the work they do and the proximity they live from the application of the chemical onto agricultural fields. Exposure comes from living in agricultural areas or coming in contact with any residue of the chemical, directly or indirectly. Additionally, people can come in contact with the pesticide in any public areas that use the insecticide, including playgrounds, parks, and golf courses.
Will A Ban Mitigate the Harm?
A staggering 75% percent of people in the United States have traces of chlorpyrifos in their bodies. This contamination is mostly due to ingesting the chemical’s residues on food.
Although EPA banned chlorpyrifos from indoor residential use in 2001, it is still possible people who were at all exposed are experiencing the effects of chemical. It is also likely that farm workers who still work directly with the chemical are at a continued risk of its harmful effects.
If you or someone you know thinks they have or could have been exposed to chlorpyrifos, contact Williams Hart for a free consultation. Let our experienced product liability attorneys help you get the compensation you deserve for the harm you are suffering from chlorpyrifos. Call us today for a free initial consultation. We are here to serve you and fight for your recovery.