Even if you study pesticides a lot, like we do, keeping tabs on pesticide science and regulation is difficult.
On August 9, we cheered a court win. A federal appeals court told the EPA to move forward with a ban on chlorpyrifos (sold under the trade name Lorsban), a neurotoxic pesticide that is used on dozens of foods, Christmas trees, and other crops. Serious human health issues have been traced to chlorpyrifos, including lower birth weight and reduced IQs for children whose mothers were exposed during pregnancy, according to epidemiological studies. And fish scientists have concluded that chlorpyrifos jeopardizes the continued existence of threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead. (See our chlorpyrifos factsheet here).
EPA’s scientists had recommended that chlorpyrifos be banned, a recommendation that was dismissed by former head of EPA, Scott Pruitt, shortly after he took office.
A recent article in the New York Times helps illuminate why the science that resulted in the proposed ban, and even the court decision ordering the ban, may be threatened by a broader trend at EPA – a chemical industry-backed attempt to limit use of epidemiological studies in agency risk assessments.
Epidemiology is the science of figuring out what diseases affect people as a group. When diseases can be traced to a distinct cause afflicting people who have similar characteristics, such as occupation, we can remedy the problem by trying to eliminate the cause. Epidemiology has contributed to huge breakthroughs in medicine and public health over the last hundred years.
Now, pushed by industry lobbying, the EPA wants to limit the use of epidemiological studies, preferring instead its traditional methods of testing chemicals on lab rats. Ironically, EPA’s leaders are claiming that unless they see the identities of individuals followed in epidemiological studies, the data is suspect. Federal privacy regulations allow individual identities to be withheld in epidemiological studies. Despite this, EPA is ramping up public confusion by calling such data “secret science,” a tagline also used by tobacco companies in the 70s when the health and safety of their products were being closely examined.
Does this discrediting of sound science sound familiar?
NCAP is here to say that epidemiological studies comprise a legitimate, best available science. If you believe that the EPA should continue to weigh epidemiological studies in its risk assessments, please sign below. We will submit this petition to the EPA in September as it considers its proposed, so-called Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science regulation.41 signatures
"Epidemiological studies are important for understanding human health effects of pesticides. The EPA should continue to weigh epidemiological studies in its risk assessments to ensure that human health is fully protected."
Carrie Munz signed Don't allow Trump Donors to Derail Science about Pesticide Impact! 2017-04-27 13:14:05 -0700
Dow Chemical Plant, Photo courtesy Sea Grant
Thank you for your interest. However, we have already submitted all comments to the EPA here. Any new signatures will not be submitted at this time.
Tell EPA: Protect People & Endangered Species from Pesticides
The continued survival of threatened salmon and steelhead species on the West Coast is in jeopardy from current-use pesticides. In more than half of the Biological Opinions issued for 31 pesticides, the National Marine Fisheries Service concluded that the use of the pesticide under existing labels would threaten the continued existence of one or more salmon or steelhead species. 
Despite these analyses, the chemical industry has counseled the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to forget about endangered species.
We are very concerned about recent industry efforts to dismiss analyses completed by the EPA and National Marine Fisheries Service. As reported by the New York Times on April 20, 2017, Dow Chemical and other pesticide makers are asking the EPA to “set aside” its endangered species analyses, charging that the science underlying the most recent analysis was not “reliable.” The most recent evaluation concluded that the use of chlorpyrifos, a highly neurotoxic insecticide, would be likely to adversely affect ALL of the salmon and steelhead listed on the Endangered Species list, as well as most other endangered and threatened species nationwide. Interestingly, Dow contributed $1 million to Trump’s inauguration.
Chlorpyrifos, sold as Dursban and Lorsban, has also been implicated in numerous human health issues over the years, including lower brain function in children. The EPA recently declined to ban the use of chlorpyrifos on food.
Help us push back! Sign this petition to the EPA asking them to protect people and endangered species. We are collecting signatures until May 15, 2017 and then delivering to the EPA.
 See completed consultation documents at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/consultation/pesticides.htm134 signatures
Don't ignore the findings of federal scientists. Uphold science-based analysis of endangered species in pesticide registration decisions. And don’t ignore people! Ban the use of Chlorpyrifos in food production to protect community health.
Carrie Munz endorsed 2015-07-19 08:48:21 -0700
The goal of the action team is to build a support base of 500 or more concerned parents, family members and residents who will mobilize and take action to organize healthier, pesticide-free schools.
Become part of our team to help assist Healthy Schools and Healthy Kids by taking this pledge of support. By signing up you will receive:
- Pride that you are helping students and employees--we’ll share a final list with legislators who are making decisions on community health
- NCAP Monthly Newsletter (includes updates on the Health People and Communities program)
- Emails on developments specific to your area
- Opportunities to engage in a campaign to reduce pesticide exposure (such as an invitation to a school weeding party, links to send an email to a school board or legislator or other nearby efforts)
Don’t worry; you can opt out of these notices at any time.
Sign the Pledge and Join the Healthy Schools Action Team:
"In order to perform their best, all students need a healthy school environment. Children need protection from chemical exposure because they are more susceptible to the detrimental effects of pesticides than adults. Since their physiology is developing, pesticides can disrupt natural growth processes resulting in long term negative health effects. Reducing pesticide use in schools improves indoor air quality, improves test scores and reduces absenteeism; it can save district money and promote a healthier overall environment. I pledge to support Healthy Schools and Healthy Kids!"