News Release

Statement: California bans brain-harming pesticide chlorpyrifos

For Immediate Release

In a major victory for California families,state officials announced this week they will prohibit the use of chlorpyrifos, a neurotoxic pesticide linked to permanent brain damage in young children.Gov. Newsom also announced funding to help farmers transition to safer alternatives. The process is expected to take from six months to two years.

With this decision, California becomes the third state to ban chlorpyrifos, following Hawaii and New York. This is also the first time the Golden State canceled the registration of a currently-used pesticide. 

CALPIRG Toxics Director Kara Cook-Schultz issued the following statement:

“We applaud this courageous act from Gov. Newsom. This is a huge victory for California’s children, who were put at risk by dangerous exposure to the pesticide through air and water pollution and from residues on food.

“The timing for this announcement is particularly appropriate because we’ve entered the chlorpyrifos spraying season in the San Joaquin Valley. With nearly a million pounds of this pesticide used annually on crops coming from California agriculture alone, eradicating this awful practice will save children from contact with this chemical and, in turn, save lives.”

“While we are grateful for these changes, we still have work to do. This new restriction on chlorpyrifos is not expected to fully remove the pesticide from the farming process for months -- or even years. So, with the state confirming that the chemical is too dangerous to use in any amount, we will look for careful oversight until then as babies and children continue to be vulnerable until this process is complete.”

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