Pesticide Victory: California EPA Bans Chlorpyrifos

We have great news to share: The California Environmental Protection Agency just announced that virtually all use of chlorpyrifos – a pesticide linked to impaired neurological development in children – will be phased out in the state by the end of 2020. California is responsible for approximately 20% of all chlorpyrifos used in the U.S. (more than any other state) so this reduction will make a huge impact.

Thank you to the Policy & Activism Committee for raising our awareness of this issue and for encouraging our membership to sign the petition to ban its use! They also helped arrange an evening earlier this year, as part of our Nancy Daly Salon Series, with an expert from Pesticide Action Network (PAN), one of the many organizations working on the ban for years. Discussed were the pesticide’s devastatingly harmful effects, which include childhood cancers, birth defects and learning disabilities in children.

Following an agreement between the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) and pesticide manufacturers, the companies agreed that:

  • All sales of chlorpyrifos products to growers in California will end on Feb. 6, 2020.
  • Growers will no longer be allowed to possess or use chlorpyrifos products in California after Dec. 31, 2020.
  • What’s in the future? We are still waiting for a federal ban. Until then, the development of safe, more sustainable alternatives to chlorpyrifos is being supported through the current state budget, which appropriates more than $5 million in grant funding for the purpose.