Chlorpyrifos: How the EPA is Poisoning Our Kids

For years the NRDC and PANNA, or National Resource Defense Council and Pesticide Action Network North America, have worked hard to get a particular pesticide that has been proven to cause significant developmental issues within children banned.

We all know that agricultural companies have been spraying our foods with chemicals to protect crops and it a widely common practice. This is perhaps why so many people made a big deal over buying organic and other fruits and vegetables that have a reputation for not being treated with chemicals.

But not all of these chemicals are created equal, and some are more damaging to human health than others.

One particular pesticide that is particularly harmful is chlorpyrifos. Over the past few years the NRDC and PANNA have been working and petitioning to get this chemical banned, but recently the EPA denied this petition, in the face of mounting health evidence that shows it is incredibly harmful, allowing companies to use this chemical on the foods that you and your children are consuming.

In this article, you’ll learn…

  • What is a pesticide?
  • The effects of chlorpyriphos
  • Why is it still being used on our crops?
  • How to protect your family from harmful pesticides
  • Things you can do to remove toxins from your body

WHAT ARE PESTICIDES?

Before understanding what chlorpyrifos is you need to know what a pesticide is. A pesticide is a chemical or substance that is used to destroy organisms, such as insects, to protect plants or animals.

Pesticide refers to a wide range of substances, such as insecticides, herbicides, and insect repellents, to name a few.

There has been a long debate on the adverse health effects that can be caused by using pesticides, including cancer, autism, neurological damage and reproductive issues. These can be caused by consumption, inhalation, and direct contact with the skin.

It shouldn’t be surprising that something meant to kill off specific animals and plants would negatively impact human health and this is the argument that is considered when conducting research.

 

WHAT IS CHLORPYRIFOS AND WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS?

Chlorpyrifos is a chemical that was originally developed before World War II as a chemical weapon. Although this compound has been modified since the war, it is still a dangerous and harmful substance that has real consequences, especially when it comes to children who are still growing and developing. This chemical has been used as a pesticide on our crops since 1965 and is currently used on food consumed by millions of people every year [1].

Not only is this chemical being sprayed onto millions of crops every year, but since we have begun to use chlorpyrifos, it has ended up in more than just our crops. It has seemed into the waterways and is consumed on a daily basis, to the point where we have had to regulate the allowance of this chemical in our water for it to be considered “safe.” It wasn’t until 1998 that we began to detect chlorpyrifos in our water systems, meaning that as time goes on it is beginning to infect more than just our food [2].

As it reaches our waterways, through lakes, streams, and rivers, it is also contaminating the wildlife, including fish where it concentrates in the fatty tissue [3].

Because of the dangers that were associated with this chemicals, it was revoked for use in the home in 2000. By 2012 regulations began to set in and along with it being banned from use within the home, the EPA also began to place “buffer zones” around schools and other areas where it was deemed “sensitive.”

In 2015, under pressure from groups like the NRDC and PANNA, the administration pushed to have the pesticide completely revoked from use.

Studies have shown that exposure to chlorpyrifos can lead to neurological effects, developmental disorders, and autoimmune disorders. It has also been known to cause harm to the mental development of unborn children [4, 5].

And this chemical doesn’t have to be consumed in large doses to be harmful and is deemed unsafe is consumed, inhaled, or even touched. A study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that women who were exposed to agricultural areas near where chlorpyrifos during pregnancy gave birth to children with higher rates of autism and neurodevelopmental issues [6].

By November of 2016, the EPA had decided that it was to ban the pesticide due to “sufficient evidence” that showed the harmful effects that it could have when consumed, especially in large quantities.

By the beginning of 2017, this decision to ban chlorpyrifos was revoked, and it was decided that the pesticide was here to stay.

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?

By the end of March 2017, the EPA overturned the decision to ban chlorpyrifos, one of the most widely used pesticides in the United States. This decision came from the new head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, 20 days after meeting with the CEO of Dow Chemical Company, the manufacturer of chlorpyrifos.

When asked if he had met with Dow Chemical Company over the topic of chlorpyrifos, Pruitt denied it. However, thanks to the Freedom of Information Act it was discovered that Pruitt met with the CEO of Dow Chemical Company on March 9th. On March 29th decision to ban chlorpyrifos was pulled [7].

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO KEEP YOUR FAMILY SAFE?

Our number one concern is how we can keep our family safe and healthy and knowing that this chemical is being sprayed onto our crops and the foods that we are feeding our kids can be extremely alarming.

Although we have been consuming it for years, since 1965, we are increasing our consumption as time goes on as the chemical has begun to seep into our environment. As it makes our way into our lives through the water we drink and the foods we consume, we are being exposed to higher doses without even knowing it.

One way to try and limit your exposure to chlorpyrifos is to buy your food organically and from local farms. When you shop locally, you can easily find out what pesticides and chemicals, if any, they are using on their crops.

Being aware of where your food comes from can significantly impact what you know about it. It is often stressed that to be healthy, you should eat a proper diet and stay active. Not only will a proper diet help you reach your goals, but it will also help you prevent disease throughout your life so you can live longer and happier.

This concern that we have for ourselves is the same concern that we have for our children, and so we work hard to make sure that they maintain a healthy active lifestyle, and we don’t feed them foods that will end up making them sick.

And the best way to maintain a healthy diet is to get on a Custom Meal Plan, where you know you will not only enjoy the food, but the food will work towards your health and your goals.

Knowing where your food comes from is another way we can go a step further and find out what pesticides are being used on our foods. We may eat a healthy diet, but if we are feeding our children and ourselves, foods that are sprayed with chemicals we may end up undermining it all.

WHAT IF I CAN’T AVOID ALL CONTAMINATION?

Knowledge is power and knowing where your food comes from is crucial, but I also understand that it can be complicated, especially if you live in an area where food is limited, and so your choices may not be as widely available.

It can be almost impossible to completely avoid pesticides and pollutants, no matter how hard you try as they have seeped into our environment and has contaminated the water we drink and the air we breathe.

When you are on a Custom Meal Plan, you know you are eating a healthy diet, and when you eat a diet that works for you, you can help to counteract some of the adverse side effects, limiting the damage done through chemical contamination.

You can also help your body rid of toxins that you consume and inhale by supporting your liver and helping it detox out the things that should not be in there. When you consume a supplement like Detox Organics you not only support your digestion, but you also help detox your body so it doesn’t hold onto toxic chemicals.

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