Today’s Solutions: January 21, 2022

Even if you’ve never heard of chlorpyrifos, you’ve probably come in contact with it on your food. This common pesticide has been on the market since 1965 and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 5.1 million pounds of the chemical have been used on American crops like vegetables, corn, soybeans, cotton, and fruit trees. This is about to change however as the EPA has officially banned the use of chlorpyrifos after years of advocacy from environmental and health groups.

Why is chlorpyrifos being banned?

Like many other pesticides, chlorpyrifos works by blocking an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase. This in turn causes insects to die. Unfortunately, it is also toxic to humans. It was banned in indoor pest control use in 1996, but due to extensive previous use and use in agriculture, 75 percent of people in the US have trace amounts of chlorpyrifos in their bodies.

Multiple studies have linked the chemical to neurodevelopmental delays, especially in children. Exposures are particularly dangerous for farmers and agricultural workers who have higher levels of exposure.

Officially banned

California and the European Union banned chlorpyrifos in 2020, but lobbying from chemical companies slowed a federal ban in the US. Extensive awareness campaigns and activism from the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Pesticide Action Network have finally pushed the EPA to enact a complete ban on chlorpyrifos on August 18, 2021. The agency says the ban will go into effect in six months.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

This solar panel covered building reflects Taiwan’s green energy transition

Most projects designed by the Dutch architecture firm MVRDV tend to leave a lasting impression on whoever lays their eyes on them. The company's upcoming project, Sun Rock, is no exception. Designed for Taiwan’s government-owned ... Read More

Why you shouldn’t peel all your vegetables

In her book, Zero Waste Home, Bea Johnson reveals that she doesn’t own a vegetable peeler. As a result, “food prep is much faster, my compost output (peelings) is considerably reduced, and we benefit from ... Read More

This online sex shop serves people living with and beyond cancer

Being diagnosed with, receiving treatment for, and surviving cancer are all incredibly impactful experiences that affect all areas of a person’s life—including sex. Many people aren’t comfortable bringing up these two sensitive subjects in casual ... Read More

Zebrafish brains reveal new information about our memories

It seems like we're writing about fish a whole lot lately! Last week, we featured an article about goldfish learning to drive. This week, zebrafish, a species studied for their relatively long lifespans, are helping ... Read More

These sustainably powered homes can raise families out of poverty

Finding and sharing positive ways to tackle the world’s challenges is our favorite activity at The Optimist Daily, so it’s no surprise that we are especially excited about BillionBricks and Architecture Brio’s PowerHyde solar homes, ... Read More

5 reasons that secrets sour relationships & how to break the secret-keep...

According to a 2018 study, published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, people on average keep around 13 secrets at a time, five of which have never been revealed to anyone. It’s worth mentioning ... Read More