State scientists strongly endorse the science behind US EPA's recommendation to ban
A significant step was just taken toward building support for a ban of chlorpyrifos in California with the listing by a panel of independent scientists of chlorpyrifos as a developmental toxicant. After considering the large and growing body of scientific evidence, the Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee (DARTIC) made its decision in front of a standing-room only crowd of residents from California's agricultural frontlines, many of whom testified about their personal experience with the chemical's devastating health consequences.
Setting the stage for a looming showdown within CalEPA, the DARTIC scientists praised as "very well-designed" the Columbia epidemiological study, which linked even low to moderate levels of exposure to chlorpyrifos during pregnancy to long-term, potentially irreversible changes in the brain structure of the child. The study is a critical piece of evidence in support of eliminating chlorpyrifos from California's fields. They also described the modeling on which the US EPA based their November 2016 recommendation for a total federal ban as "elegant and showing an astoundingly low dose response." The Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) discounted the Columbia study and ignored the US EPA's 2016 model in their draft risk assessment.
Miriam Rotkin-Ellman, MPH, Natural Resources Defense Council senior scientist, said, "With this decision, California affirms the extensive scientific evidence that chlorpyrifos is harmful, particularly for pregnant women and children. California now has a mandate to ensure that all actions to evaluate and address risk from this pesticide must protect children."
Emily Marquez, PhD, Pesticide Action Network's staff scientist who attended the hearing, said, "The committee made the right decision in light of the scientific evidence. State regulators should follow today's decision by finally taking this chemical off the market."
Raul Garcia, a Porterville resident and outreach coordinator for Tulare County Coalition Advocating Pesticide Safety, said, "Our families have been unfairly exposed to this neurotoxic pesticide for decades. Today's decision affirms the importance for California to follow the science and protect our communities by keeping this chemical out of our fields and bodies."