EPA rejects its own science to declare banned pesticide not a threat to children 

Health

The Trump Administration has yet again rejected science in a new and harmful Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) risk assessment that proclaims the pesticide chlorpyrifos — banned for household use since 2000 — not hazardous to children. In fact, to make the ruling, the agency has rejected its own research, directly contradicting the findings of federal scientists who concluded five years ago that chlorpyrifos can stunt brain development in children.

The EPA dismissed its previous conclusion by saying that the “science addressing neurodevelopmental effects remains unresolved,” yet it excluded several epidemiological studies that established a link between prenatal exposure to the pesticide and developmental disorders in young children, such as lower IQ and impaired working memory.

The chlorpyrifos assessment is just the latest in a series of Administration rollbacks that put the needs of the agriculture industry and chemical companies above the health of our nation’s children. In June, the Trump Administration finalized a decision to not regulate perchlorate, a toxic chemical found in rocket fuel that can contaminate drinking water. Perchlorate has been linked to fetal and infant brain damage.

The EPA has also been lax on the regulation of lead. Lead is a well-established toxin, and any exposure is considered dangerous to children, as it can cause irreversible damage to the nervous system. The EPA failed to require the replacement of 6 million water lines throughout the country that are made of lead; refused to lower the enforceable level of lead in water, known as the “lead action level;” and did not tighten the standards for lead-based paint exposure at home. Furthermore, the EPA has failed to effectively regulate a group of synthetic chemicals called PFAS, that are used in a wide variety of household products and industrial processes even though research has shown that children are extremely vulnerable to these toxins. The Trump Administration has not enforced monitoring, testing, and cleanup of PFAS in water. They had also continually blocked the release of a government study which found that PFAS could be more toxic than we thought, calling the study a “public relations nightmare.” The study was finally released in June 2018; it found that PFAS exposure could be dangerous at levels the EPA deemed safe.  

When will enough be enough?

How much longer will this government continue to ignore science and put the health of our children at risk? The Trump Administration’s disregard for our environment spans from indulging corporations on these toxins to ignoring the impact of climate change. It is our children who will bear the brunt of the negative impacts of climate change – and we should demand more from our leaders.

Learn more about the Trump Administration’s attack on the environment and children here