As contamination issues and litigation concerning insecticides and herbicides continue to grow, Congress has taken notice. Senators Tom Udall and Richard Blumenthal introduced a bill to ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos. Chlorpyrifos is a chlorinated organophosphate insecticide that is commonly used on food crops and non-residential turf. Hopefully, the Senators will be able to gain enough support from other Senators and House members to obtain passage of this bill.
The bill would outlaw the application of chlorpyrifos on food crops and prohibit any food containing the insecticide from being sold. It was introduced in response to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt’s refusal to ban the insecticide despite the EPA’s own findings that it is unsafe for humans even with maximum protections in place. Chlorpyrifos was outlawed for home and garden use in 2000.
Humans can be exposed to chlorpyrifos from breathing in dusts drifting from nearby farms or from ingesting contaminated food or drinking water. Environmental groups claim that the insecticide can harm children’s developing brains and nervous systems. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has linked exposure to a range of symptoms including nausea, vomiting, headaches, dizziness, seizures and paralysis.
Chlorpyrifos is among the 30 chemical contaminants that will be tested in various public water systems nationwide between 2018 and 2020. Amendments to the Safe Water Drinking Act (SWDA) require the EPA to issue a list of contaminants to test that are not regulated under the SWDA. We expect water systems to keep a close eye on the test results to ensure they are delivering clean drinking water to their customers.
If you want more information about pesticide and herbicide claims, contact Rhon Jones in our Toxic Torts Section at 800-898-2034 or by email at Rhon.Jones@beasleyallen.com.
Source: Law360.com and CNN
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