andrew schneider investigates

May 19, 2008

Scientists urge EPA to ban endosulfan

The EU and 20 other countries have banned the use of the pesticide endosulfan, but the U.S. continues to permits its application on crops even though it is known to harm the hormone system, and low levels of exposure in the womb have been linked to male reproductive harm, other birth defects and possibly autism.

Today, more than 55 international scientists, medical doctors, nurses, other health professionals and Tribal governments and Indigenous groups in the Arctic sent a letter to the EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson urging him to phase out endosulfan.

Johnson is considered to be a man who never met a pesticide that he didn’t like by some of the scientists who worked with him before the White House made him the EPA boss. That allegation aside, public concern against endosulfan is well known in the agency. Petitions with more than 13,000 signatures urging the withdrawal of endosulfan’s registration were submitted earlier this year.

That registration is now under review by EPA, with the agency’s own analysis showing that farmers and workers applying endosulfan are exposed to unacceptably high levels of the pesticide, said Jennifer Sass, a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“It is time to take this dangerous and antiquated pesticide off the market,” says Sass. “The scientific evidence clearly shows that the continued use of this chemical puts the health of exposed farm workers, communities and the environment at risk.”

Dr. Sass’ blog has more information and links to the letters sent to the EPA.

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