A Pesticide and the E.P.A.

Letter, New York Times, 11/1/17

Re “Trump’s Legacy: Damaged Brains,” by Nicholas Kristof (column, Oct. 29):

Pediatricians are alarmed by the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent decision to allow the continued use of chlorpyrifos, a toxic pesticide. Mr. Kristof explains in compelling detail the special interests that influenced the E.P.A.’s decision and why it should concern us all.

Extensive epidemiologic studies associate pesticide exposure with adverse birth and developmental outcomes, including preterm birth, low birth weight, congenital abnormalities, pediatric cancers, neurobehavioral and cognitive deficits, and asthma. The evidence is especially strong linking certain pesticide exposure with pediatric cancers and permanent neurological damage.

The agency’s own calculations suggest that babies, children and pregnant women all eat much more chlorpyrifos than is safe. In fact, the E.P.A. has estimated that “typical” exposures for babies are probably five times greater than its proposed “safe” intake, and 11 to 15 times higher for toddlers and older children.

This chemical is unambiguously dangerous and should be banned from use. We urge the E.P.A. to reverse its decision and protect child health.

FERNANDO STEIN, HOUSTON

The writer is president of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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