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California Will Ban Pesticide Because Of Effects On Children

A lemon tree heavy with fruit, April 7, 2017.

Photo by Nicholas McVicker

Above: A lemon tree heavy with fruit, April 7, 2017.

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California has announced it will ban a pesticide heavily used on citrus and almonds because of its neurological effects on infants and children.

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Aired: May 13, 2019 | Transcript

California, one of the largest agricultural states in the country, has announced it will ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos.

State health officials initiated the ban because of mounting evidence that the pesticide causes neurological damage in infants and children.

Chlorpyrifos, made by Dow Chemical, is used on crops such as citrus and almonds. In 2015, California farmers used about two million pounds of the pesticide. The current usage is about 900,000 pounds annually, which still makes the state the largest user in the country.

It could take two years before the ban takes complete effect. Dow has declared it will fight the state's action.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency continues to allow the sale of chlorpyrifos.

Brady Dennis, a reporter for The Washington Post, who focuses on environmental and health issues, joins Midday Edition Monday to discuss California's decision to ban the pesticide.

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