U.S. Authorities Ban Use of Pesticide Linked to Neurological Damage in Children

    Product is listed as authorized by the Ministry of Agriculture in Costa Rica

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    The US government, through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), announced that it will ban the use of one of the most common pesticides: chlorpyrifos, which is applied to different fruits and vegetables.

    The prohibition of the product is given due to information that indicates that its use could have implications for the health of the population, especially that of children, who could present neurological problems when exposed to the substance.

    Chlorpyrifos has been used as a pesticide since 1965 on farms and in non-agricultural areas, such as golf courses. The EPA banned its use in 2015, under the presidency of Barack Obama, however, the Trump administration reversed the decision.

    Protecting public health

    Now, the Joe Biden government has announced that it is banning the widely used pesticide. “Today, EPA is taking an important step to protect public health,” said agency director Michael S. Regan. “Ending the use of chlorpyrifos in food will help ensure that children, agricultural workers and all people are protected from the potentially dangerous consequences of this pesticide”, he explained.

    However, the chemical will still be allowed for non-food uses, such as on golf courses, lawns, utility poles and fence posts, as well as in roach baits and ant treatments. The insecticide’s effects on animals and humans have been studied since the 1970s, in 2001 it was banned indoors, but it continues to be used in agricultural fields.

    Use in Costa Rica

    According to the website of the Ministry of Agriculture, in the list of Registered Pesticides covered by Law 8702, Costa Rica allows the use of at least four products that have chlorpyrifos as active ingredients.

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