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Washington joins four states in federal lawsuit demanding EPA safety review

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(Image courtesy of ncwlife.com)

OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson says Washington will join four other States in a federal lawsuit demanding that the new Environmental Protection Agency complete a scientific safety review of the pesticide chlorpyrifos.

Agency Chief Scott Pruitt halted a review already underway earlier this year.

Ferguson contends that by stopping the safety review, the EPA is allowing the use of the pesticide on 80 food crops including apples, cherries and strawberries to continue without determining that the pesticide is safe.

Ferguson said the Trump administration is willfully ignoring scientific evidence that chlorpyrifos is harmful to human health, but Heather Hansen with the group, Friends of Farms and Forests, disagrees.

“More than 4,000 studies have been evaluated by regulatory agencies in 100 countries around the world, and chlorpyrifos is approved for use in all of those countries,” Hansen said. “The most recent comprehensive health review was completed in Australia, and the regulatory agencies there found no evidence to change the use of chlorpyrifos, no new concerns. EPA has committed to continuing its review of all of the evidence and we think that that’s appropriate.”

Ferguson argues that scientific evidence has documented the harmful impacts chlorpyrifos has on human health, such as lower IQ and attention deficit disorders. Children are reportedly at the highest risk of exposure, as well as pregnant women. Farmworkers and those living in agricultural communities also experience dangerous levels of exposure.

(By Kaitlin Hetterscheidt, courtesy of ncwlife.com)

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