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Cal EPA Moves Toward Tighter Pesticide Restrictions

Gosia Wozniacka / AP

Gosia Wozniacka / AP

The state Department of Pesticide Regulations Friday released their newest risk assessment for a commonly used pesticide called chlorpyrifos.

The report found elevated health risks for children and women of childbearing age who inhale the chemical or get it on their skin.

California farmers have used chlorpyrifos on nuts, berries, and citrus for decades. While it protects the crops, many worry it's harmful to humans.

Department spokesperson Charlotte Fadipe says tighter restrictions on the chemical could come in 2018.

 "We want scientific input into it, all eyes on it, so we can continue to ensure we are protecting people as the pesticide is used"

 Pesticide Action Network spokesperson Paul Towers calls the new report ‘disappointing’. He says the only truly protective step is an outright ban.

"Unfortunately today’s announcement kicks the can down the road. Without acknowledging the profound risks of chlorpyrifos on children’s brains, the subsequent steps to actually restrict its use will not go far enough."

 Next month, the department will give county agricultural commissioners new, voluntary restrictions on where and when to apply chlorpyrifos.

Meanwhile, Cal EPA will consider adding the chemical to its ‘Prop 65’ list, which would submit it to stricter rules around signage and labeling.

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