Pesticides in Food are Keeping Kids From Learning

Chlorpyrifos and other pesticides in foods have been shown to impair brain function, keeping kids from learning.

| September 3, 2013

As a new school years begins, kids across the country are getting ready to learn. Yet many are still being exposed to brain-harming pesticides in foods like chlorpyrifos that put their brainpower at risk.

The science on chlorpyrifos — and other neurotoxic pesticides like it — is startlingly clear. Even at low levels of exposure (like those commonly found on our food), chlorpyrifos can harm the development and functioning of a child's brain.

No more delays: EPA is taking too long to act on this sobering science, and it's time for Congress to step up. Falling IQs, shifts in brain architecture, increased risk of learning disabilities — the list goes on. Tell your Senators it's time to protect children from neurotoxic pesticides, today.

Home use of chlorpyrifos was stopped back in 2001, when scientists flagged harms to children's nervous systems. Twelve years later, we know even more about how pesticides in foods like chlorpyrifos can impact children. When exposure occurs during key moments of development, surprisingly low levels can cause damage that has lifelong effects.

Yet agricultural use continues, with 8-12 million pounds applied on common fruit and vegetable crops every year. Kids in rural areas — especially children in farm and farmworker families — are especially at risk from exposure to pesticide drift.

Children across the country continue to be exposed to brain-harming pesticides in their food, water and air. Congress should press new EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to act now to protect kids from neurotoxic pesticides.

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