Nerve Poisons Have No Place Near Our Children and in Their Food
Toxic chemicals designed to cause neurological damage are being pumped into our children’s environment and food, as parents and teachers struggle to help vast numbers of children with growing rates of neurodevelopmental and learning disabilities.
A prime example is the pesticide “chlorpyrifos.” It is one of the “organophosphates,” a class of chemicals originally developed for use as nerve poisons in wars. Although it has been banned for residential use, chlorpyrifos is widely used in agriculture, and exposures for farm worker children and others living in rural farming areas are very well documented. Residues also get into foods children eat, leading to exposures for children everywhere.1
Please, sign our petition to EPA calling for a ban on chlorpyrifos and for policy reforms to better protect children from neurotoxins and other dangerous chemicals. It will only take a minute when you click here: http://action.panna.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=2268
Chlorpyrifos used to be in residential products, but was banned in those a decade ago because of the risks to children. Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York City has been tracking children exposed to chlorpyrifos before the ban when their mothers were pregnant. The more highly exposed children were smaller at birth and had mental deficits at age 3.2 This is just one of many studies that paint a compelling picture of chlorpyrifos as a chemical that compromises children’s ability to learn, and otherwise damages their health. We need to demand reforms that end children’s exposures to this pesticide, and to other harmful chemicals. Our children have a right to neurotoxin-free environments and food from the moment of conception onward!
For more background, go to: http://www.fwpp.org/?page=OtherDocuments. You can download a fact sheet, a letter to EPA calling for a ban from pediatrician Dr. Phil Landrigan and Dr. Amir Miodovnik of Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, and hard copies of the petition. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
1) An interesting study that is freely accessible on the internet is “Organic Diets Significantly Lower Children’s Dietary Exposure to Organophosphorus Pesticides” by Chensheng Lu and others, in the February 2006 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives. It discusses how metabolites of chlorpyrifos show up in children’s urine when they eat conventionally grown foods, and how they go away if their parents are able to provide organic food.
2) The researchers found that the more highly exposed children were “significantly more likely to experience Psychomotor Developmental Index and Mental Development Index delays, attention problems, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder problems, and pervasive developmental disorder problems at 3 years of age” compared to children with lower exposures.