The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has recommended interim restrictions on the use of chlorpyrifos. The new measures provide temporary protections while DPR completes a formal regulatory process to list the pesticide as a “toxic air contaminant” and develops permanent use restrictions. Chlorpyrifos is a neurotoxic pesticide widely used in U.S. agriculture to kill a variety of pests through ground and aerial applications. DPR is recommending that county agricultural commissioners begin implementing these restrictions by January 1, 2019, including:
- Banning all aerial applications of chlorpyrifos.
- Discontinuing chlorpyrifos use on most crops.
- Requiring a quarter mile buffer zone during all allowed applications of the pesticide and for 24 hours afterwards.
- Requiring a 150-foot setback from houses, business, schools, and other sensitive sites at all times, regardless of whether the site is occupied at the time of application.
People are exposed to chlorpyrifos through residues in food, drinking water contamination, and drift from pesticide application. Pesticide applicators are exposed to it from entering fields where the pesticide was recently sprayed as well as mixing, handling, and applying the pesticide even with proper use of personal protective equipment. Poisoning from chlorpyrifos can cause convulsions, respiratory paralysis, and, in extreme cases, death.
The complete recommended interim restrictions are available at: https://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/enforce/compend/vol_3/append_o.pdf
Update summary by: Tina Hand, PAPA