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"The FQPA was a revolution in how we think about pesticides' effects on children, but it does no good if the EPA doesn't use it," said EWG President Ken Cook. "It's not only necessary to protect kids' health, it's the law, and the EPA's failure to follow the law is an egregious betrayal of its responsibility."
Naidenko's study also examined EPA risk assessments for a particularly toxic class of pesticides called organophosphates, which act in the same way as nerve gases like sarin and are known to harm children's brains and nervous systems. She found that under the Obama administration, the tenfold children's health safety factor was proposed for all organophosphate insecticides.
By contrast, in four assessments of pyrethroid insecticides, the EPA under the Trump administration has proposed adding the FQPA safety factor to none. In human epidemiological studies conducted in the U.S. and in Denmark, exposure to pyrethroid insecticides was associated with increased risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
In 2017, the EPA reversed the Obama administration's FQPA determination for chlorpyrifos, the most widely used organophosphate pesticide in the U.S. Despite the Trump EPA's decision, in the wake of bans by Hawaii, California and New York, the main U.S. chlorpyrifos manufacturer recently announced it will stop making this chemical. It remains to be seen whether the Trump EPA will uphold the tenfold FQPA determination for the entire group of organophosphates.
The study also found that the Trump EPA has proposed to increase by 2.6-fold the allowable exposure to the herbicide metolachlor. The use of metolachlor has been on the rise for the past decade, with more than 60 million pounds sprayed annually, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Biomonitoring studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and by independent researchers reported the presence of multiple pesticides and their byproducts in the American population, including herbicides such as glyphosate and 2,4-D, the bee-killing neonicotinoid insecticides, organophosphate and pyrethroid insecticides, and fungicide metabolites.
The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action. Source:
Environmental Working Group Journal reference:
Naidenko, O.V.(2020) Application of the Food Quality Protection Act children’s health safety factor in the U.S. EPA pesticide risk assessments. Environmental Health . doi.org/10.1186/s12940-020-0571-6 .
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