Tag Archives: health risk

EPA proposes agricultural ban on pesticide that damages kids’ brains

The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed to ban all agricultural use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos, because of the health risks from contaminated drinking water.

The agency said it would issue a final decision by the end of next year, after taking public comment.

The EPA had already eliminated household uses in home gardens, insect sprays and other products in 2000 — in response to a lawsuit by the Natural Resources Defense Council and other groups — because the chemical damages the developing brains of children. 

Veena Singla, a scientist with the health program at NRDC, said, “We’ve known for years that chlorpyrifos is dangerous, and that’s why we sued EPA—to take it off the market.  The agency’s announcement today is a huge step in the right direction, but we think there’s enough evidence to ban all its uses now.”

Chlorpyrifos is a toxic chemical sprayed on apples, oranges, broccoli, nuts and scores of other crops.

It’s also used on golf courses.

It is associated with long-lasting neurological damage to children and numerous farmworker poisonings.  Farms in the United States disperse more than 5 million pounds of it each year.

EPA’s decision was the outcome of a lawsuit filed by Earthjustice, NRDC and Pesticide Action Network, asking EPA to ban chlorpyrifos.

“This is what we have been seeking for years. EPA’s and other independent findings show that chlorpyrifos causes brain damage to children and poisons workers and bystanders,” said Patti Goldman, the Earthjustice attorney handling the case. “At long last, the agency is signaling its intention to protect children, workers and their families by banning this hazardous pesticide. It is imperative that EPA move quickly to protect workers and children by finalizing this important rule.”

Anti-gay group charges homosexuality as fatal as drugs, smoking

A right-wing group, declaring that September is “Protecting Marriage Month,” claims that homosexuality is more threatening than climate change and warns of second-hand health risks.

The Center for Marriage Policy’s literature was distributed by some Christian right activists outside the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., last week.

Many dismissed the material as nutty or laughable, or both.

“This is spooky, kooky stuff,” said Charlotte resident Hal Turner, who was demonstrating outside the Time Warner Cable Arena for environmental reforms. “This is too extreme for even the Republican Party.”

Steve Hinkley, who was outside the convention protesting the proposed Keystone Pipeline, laughed at the literature. “For some reason I assumed everybody here would be on the left,” he said.

The right-wing center, in a flyer circulated on the streets of Uptown Charlotte, said, “Public policy must discourage promiscuity and homosexuality for the same reasons we discourage drug abuse and smoke.”

The group advocates criminalizing homosexuality in the United States, blames LGBT people for sexually-transmitted diseases, maintains bisexuals are the majority in the LGBT movement and argues that homosexuality is promoted in schools to the point that “it is considered an act of hate to question or oppose sexual perversion.”

A paper released for the group’s Protecting Marriage Month campaign says, “Why do we teach homosexuality in our schools while strongly encouraging our children not to use drugs or smoke? Fatality data indicates that promiscuity and homosexuality are at least as dangerous to health and life as smoking or drugs.”

The center’s David R. Usher and Cynthia L. Davis go on to write, “We can no longer give homosexuality a free pass because the grave healthcare burden it imposes on the rest of us. The taxpayers cannot ‘leave the room’ to avoid being harmed.”

The center was founded about a year ago with an endorsement from Phyllis Schlafly, founder of the anti-feminist Eagle Forum.