EWG News – Pesticide Chlorpyrifos

EWG (Environmental Working Group) News

Pesticide Chlorpyrifos (2017.03.20-30)

Chlorpyrifos, a pesticide is so nasty that even the smallest amounts lower kids’ IQs, cause arm tremors in children, structurally change the parts of the brain that control language, memory and gender differences, and impairs brain development

American children continue to be exposed to chlorpyrifos from produce grown in the U.S. and abroad. In its latest round of pesticide residue tests on fruits and vegetables, the U.S. Department of Agriculture detected chlorpyrifos residues on nearly 20 percent of peaches imported from Chile.

Marketed by Dow AgroSciences under the names Lorsban and Dursban, chlorpyrifos was once widely used to control insects in homes, gardens, and lawns, as well as on farmland

Research has linked the organophosphate pesticide to nervous system damage, behavioral problems and lower IQs in young children whose mothers were exposed during pregnancy. In adults, low-level exposure to chlorpyrifos can cause nausea, headaches and dizziness, and farmworkers or others who experience severe exposures have suffered vomiting, muscle cramps, diarrhea, blurred vision, loss of consciousness and even paralysis.

According to the EPA, soy, corn, alfalfa and oranges account for most domestic chlorpyrifos use. The pesticide is still applied to more than 30 percent of domestic apples, asparagus, walnuts, onions, grapes, broccoli, cherries, and cauliflower.

From EPA Website below:

Chlorpyrifos has been used as a pesticide since 1965 in both agricultural and non-agricultural areas:

  • The largest agricultural market for chlorpyrifos in terms of total pounds of active ingredient is corn.
  • It is also used on soybeans, fruit and nut trees, Brussels sprouts, cranberries, broccoli, and cauliflower, as well as other row crops.
  • Non-agricultural uses include golf courses, turf, green houses, and on non-structural wood treatments such as utility poles and fence posts.  It is also registered for use as a mosquito adulticide, and for use in roach and ant bait stations in child resistant packaging.

Products are sold as liquids, granules, water dispersible granules, wettable powders, and water soluble packets, and may be applied by either ground or aerial equipment.

For Domestic produce, in order to avoid chlorpyrifos, we should purchase organic below:

  • soy
  • corn
  • alfalfa
  • asparagus
  • walnuts
  • onions
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • Brussels sprouts
  • cranberries
  • oranges
  • apples
  • grapes
  • cherries