I respectfully disagree with your Jan. 31 story (“Maryland bill to ban pesticide chlorpyrifos back for third year”). There is zero scientific controversy regarding the severe public health and environmental impacts of the highly toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos, which the Maryland General Assembly is moving toward banning this year.

Before 2017, when the current administration took over the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA scientists had proposed banning chlorpyrifos because it harms children. They based their proposal on dozens of studies finding lower IQs, lower birth weights, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and other developmental issues in exposed children. Of note: HB 229/SB300 — the Maryland 2020 ban bills — are backed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Maryland State Medical Society. EPA scientists rarely recommend pesticide bans and even more rarely recommend outright bans without exemptions. Their reasoning is clear — this chemical is unsafe at any detectable level.

In the Chesapeake Bay, chlorpyrifos harms blue crabs, smaller crustaceans and insects that are a crucial part of the food web. Political appointees, however, have ignored clear scientific evidence and allow this harmful pesticide to remain on the market. In the meantime, states such as California, New York and Hawaii have banned chlorpyrifos, as has the entire European Union of 27 nations. Other states are also moving to protect their children and the environment, including Oregon and Connecticut.

We call on all Marylanders who care about our children and our bay to urge their state legislators to support the proposed ban on toxic chlorpyrifos.

Robert SanGeorge

Project director, Maryland Pesticide Education Network, Bethesda

(2) comments

Captain Yossarian

We inflict self-sabotage upon ourselves as a result of high intraspecific competition.

Our society has no frontier to conquer, while new people are being born or migrate.

Thus we internalize this energy and do harm to ourselves.

Children become an easy target in this post-industrial, post- nuclear subtle game of who gets to live.

Use of toxic pesticides is one example of such self-sabotage.

Why can't we control pests with robots, traps with pheromones or other methods that temper with the reproductive cycle of a specific pest, rather then to spray everything with poison? Why isn't science moving in this direction?


If you are right and I think you are, we are doing a lot of harm to our children.

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