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Urge Governor Cuomo to ban toxic chlorpyrifos

spacer   spray pesticide
Photo via Creative Commons

Riverkeeper strongly urges Governor Cuomo to sign legislation passed this past spring to ban the use of chlorpyrifos in New York. Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate pesticide, which works to block the enzyme cholinesterase and impairs the central nervous system. Strong evidence suggests that this pesticide may have significant adverse impacts on wildlife and human health. The Trump Administration’s EPA has recently declined a nationwide ban on the pesticide.

Many staple agricultural products are treated with chlorpyrifos. People and wildlife are exposed to the chemical through multiple pathways including toxic spray drift upon application to crops, water contamination through runoff and soil infiltration, contact through crop pollination, and through the consumption of treated food.

In 2017, the National Marine Fisheries Service reported that adult and juvenile Atlantic sturgeon — which are endangered — are at high risk from exposure to chlorpyrifos because concentrations of the chemical would reduce their abundance and spawning productivity.  A 2009 study in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology found chlorpyrifos to have mutagenic and genotoxic below lethal levels and were especially destructive around the gills of fish.

A draft biological evaluation by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2016 found that chlorpyrifos is “likely to adversely affect” 97 percent of all threatened and endangered wildlife, including more than 100 listed bird species. Chlorpyrifos toxicology studies suggest behavioral, reproductive and endocrine disruption to all aquatic arthropods, especially those near chlorpyrifos runoff.

Please join us in urging Governor Cuomo to sign this vital prohibition on the use of chlorpyrifos in New York State to protect public health and the environment. 


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