The Biden administration announced Wednesday that they would ban a widely used pesticide that has been linked to health problems in children and farm workers.
The Environmental Protection Agency said that chlorpyrifos, a controversial chemical targeted by environmentalist groups, will no longer be allowed on food crops. This ban reverses a Trump-era decision to not outlaw the pesticide.
“Today, EPA is taking a long overdue step in order to protect public safety. Chlorpyrifos will be banned from food, which will protect children, farmworkers and other people from its potentially harmful effects,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan stated in a statement.
Chlorpyrifos was typically used on crops such as broccoli, cauliflower, soybeans and fruit and nut trees, according to the Associated Press.
According to the EPA, there have been “potential neurological effects in children” from pesticides. Studies have shown that children and fetuses are more likely to experience memory loss, IQ decline, and attention deficit disorder due to chlorpyrifos.
According to the EPA, their decision was based on a dearth of data that showed that the chemical is safe to use.
Chlorpyrifos was banned for household use in 2000, but it was allowed to continue in agricultural settings to ward off mosquitos, cockroaches and fire ants. It was banned in several countries and states, including Canada, the European Union and the United States.
Teresa Romero (president of United Farm Workers) stated that she is relieved that farmers and their families won’t have to worry about how pesticides could affect their lives.