Vulcan Banned in Homes
Vulcan has long been banned in homes, and it was finally to be banned on farms, before the Trump administration reopening review of the product.
Vulcan Sickens Farm Workers
Vulcan recently sprayed on an orchard southwest of Bakersfield drifted to a neighboring property operated by Dan Andrews Farms. Forty seven farm workers harvesting cabbage smelled something terrible. Several became nauseous and vomited. One worker was hospitalized, and four others soon visited doctors.
Chlorpyrifos was scheduled to be banned
Glenn Fankhauser, agricultural commissioner of Kern County, said cabbage and the workers’ clothing were taken to a state lab for lab testing. Vulcan’s main ingredient is chlorpyrifos, a toxic pesticide that was set to be banned by the Obama administration before Trump’s new EPA decided against the ban in March 2017.
Dan Andrews said he has never used chlorpyrifos. He believes his workers were sickened from it being blown in from the neighboring farm. With sick workers, his harvest had to be shut down. Andrews thinks chlorpyrifos should be banned. The poison also has a history of incidents similar to what happened to his workers.
Chlorpyrifos is widely used on U.S. farms, primarily as a spray on corn, wheat, and citrus crops. Growing evidence of its impact on human health led the EPA to agree with the chemical industry more than 10 years ago that it should not be used indoors for pesticide control.
Besides child developmental problems and lowered IQ, chlorpyrifos-related health issues include lower birth weight and attention disorders. Large doses of it can also cause convulsions and even death. People can be exposed through spray drift during application, residues on food, as well as water contamination.
Made by Dow Chemicals, chlorpyrifos was still approved for agricultural use, but following a legal challenge by environmental groups, EPA scientists said the pesticide was not safe for any use and proposed a full ban.
EPA Under Scott Pruitt Allows Banned Pesticide
After Scott Pruitt was appointed to lead the EPA, the agency rejected the proposed ban on chlorpyrifos, which was set to take affect. Pruitt said he wanted to provide “regulatory certainty to the thousands of American farms that rely on chlorpyrifos,” and the EPA now claims there were “serious scientific concerns and substantive process gaps” in the plan to banish chlorpyrifos. The next review of chlorpyrifos isn’t scheduled until 2022.
Farmworker Justice, a group that advocates for the farm workers who put food on our tables, said the EPA has become too close to chemical giants like Dow and Monsanto.
Unsafe for People, but not for Farmers?
Pruitt. the former Oklahoma AG, wanted to abolish the EPA before Trump made him the head of it. Mr. Pruitt now claims he wants to help American farmers and give them “regulatory certainty,” by refusing to ban a product already deemed not safe to use in the home. Low levels of any pesticide exposure—indoors or outside—can still be very harmful to children, pregnant people, and farm workers.
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by Matthews & Associates