DR. JOSEPH MERCOLA: “Illegal Levels of Radiation Emitted by Popular Cellphones”

“Persistent exposures to microwave frequencies like those from cellphones can cause mitochondrial dysfunction and nuclear DNA damage from free radicals produced from peroxynitrite. Excessive exposures to cellphones and Wi-Fi networks have been linked to chronic diseases such as cardiac arrhythmias, anxiety, depression, autism, Alzheimer’s and infertility. EMF exposure has increased about 1 quintillion times over the past 100 years. Most people experience biological impacts but have no appreciation of the damage it’s causing until it’s too late. Even then, it’s extremely difficult to link the exposure to the symptoms or the disease. 5G relies primarily on the bandwidth of the millimeter wave, known to cause a painful burning sensation. It’s also been linked to eye and heart problems, suppressed immune function, genetic damage and fertility problems. EMFs have clear neuropsychiatric effects, triggering everything from foggy thinking and headaches to learning disabilities and dementia.”

~Dr. Joseph Mercola

 

Hidden within your cellphone’s manual is a little-known warning that advises you to keep the device at a certain distance from your body — typically 5 to 15 millimeters — to ensure you don’t exceed the federal safety limit for radiofrequency (RF) exposure.

In the real world, however, most people carry their phones close to their body, usually in a pocket. Many women tuck their phone right into their bra, which may be the absolute worst place for a woman to put it, as it could raise their risk of both heart problems and breast tumors, two leading risks of death for women.

How Safety Limits Are Determined

The safe distance (listed in your cellphone manual) is based on your phone’s specific absorption rate (SAR). SAR is a measure of how much RF energy your body will absorb from the device when held at a specific distance from your body, typically ranging from 5 to 15 mm, depending on the manufacturer.

Put another way, it’s a measure of the degree to which your device will heat body tissue, which we now know is not the primary way that cellphones damage your body.

However, even though heat generated from your phone does not really damage your body, the SAR could be a good surrogate marker for the actual microwave radiofrequency exposure that does indeed cause cellular damage, as it is the microwaves that heat your tissue. So, typically, the lower SAR rating, the safer your phone, but not for the reasons they are telling you.

The SAR limit set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is currently the only standard set to protect public health, so the fact that even these lenient standards are being exceeded is concerning.

In the U.S. and Canada, the SAR limit for mobile devices used by the public is 1.6 W/kg per 1 gram of head tissue. To understand why and how SAR underestimates radiation absorption and health risks, see “Exposure Limits: The Underestimation of Absorbed Cellphone Radiation, Especially in Children,” published in the journal Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine in 2012.

Popular Cellphones Emit Illegal Levels of RF

As mentioned, recent independent SAR testing reveals several popular cellphones emit far higher levels of RF radiation than legally permitted. One bestselling cellphone, the iPhone 7, emitted more than double the legal SAR limit.

“The Federal Communications Commission, which is responsible for regulating phones, states on its website that if a cellphone has been approved for sale, the device ‘will never exceed’ the maximum allowable exposure limit. But this phone, in an independent lab inspection, had done exactly that.”

In all, 11 cellphone models from four manufacturers were tested. Because of the surprisingly high level of radiation obtained from the first iPhone 7 tested, four iPhone 7s were tested, using a standard test and a modified test based on manufacturers feedback. While results varied from one device to another, all four exceeded the FCC’s limit.

At a distance of 5 mm from your body (the distance used by Apple), the iPhone 7 was found to emit anywhere between 2.5 and 3.46 W/kg, which is 1.6 to 2.2 times the legal limit.

At a distance of 2 mm from the body — which mimics carrying your phone in your pocket — the results ranged from 3.5 W/kg on the low end to 4.69 W/kg on the high end, which are 2.2 to 2.9 times above the legal limit.

The three Samsung Galaxy smartphones tested, Galaxy S9, S8 and J3, were all within the legal limit at 10 to 15 mm from the body (the distance used by Samsung), but RF radiation levels skyrocketed at 2 mm from the body, raising serious questions about the safety of keeping a Galaxy phone in your pocket.

The Galaxy S9 came in at 3.8 W/kg at 2 mm from the body, while the S8 registered a whopping 8.22 W/kg (more than five times the legal limit) and J3 registered 6.55 W/kg.

Safety Standards Do Not Match Real-World Exposure

Another problem is that SAR testing companies are allowed to position the cellphone as far as 25 mm (0.98 inches, or nearly 1 inch) away from the body to meet the FCC standard. Today, few people consistently keep their phone at least a quarter of an inch to an inch away from their body, which means overexposure is chronic.

In 2012, the Government Accountability Office stated that because cellphone radiation is not measured under real-world conditions, against the body, the FCC should reassess its limits and testing requirements.

Authorities used this finding to help calculate a safety limit for humans, building in a 50-fold safety factor. The final rule, adopted by the FCC in 1996, stated that cellphone users cannot potentially absorb more than 1.6 watts per kilogram averaged over one gram of tissue.

To demonstrate compliance, phone makers were told to conduct two tests: when the devices were held against the head and when held up to an inch from the body.

“These testing methods didn’t address the anatomy of children and that of other vulnerable populations, such as pregnant women”, said Joel Moskowitz, a cellphone expert at the University of California at Berkeley. “It was like one-size-fits-all.” Plus, he said, “I don’t think anyone anticipated the smartphone and how it would become so integral to our lives.”

‘This Could Be the Chernobyl of the Cellphone Industry’

In the wake of the Tribune’s report, the class-action law firm Fegan Scott has announced it will launch an investigation. In a BusinessWire press release, managing partner Beth Fegan stated:

“This could be the Chernobyl of the cellphone industry, cover-up and all. If we found that produce sold in grocery stores contained twice the levels of pesticides as the law allows, we would be up in arms, demanding the products be pulled from the shelf — this is no different. In this case, we know the cellphone radiation is dangerous, but the terrifying part is that we don’t know how dangerous, especially to kids’ brain development.”

That said, at least one class-action lawsuit has already been filed. August 23, 2019, a dozen individuals filed a class action complaint against Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics America Inc., saying excessive RF radiation has placed them at increased risk for cancer, cellular stress, genetic damage, learning and memory deficits and neurological disorders.

As noted by Tech Wellness, the lawsuit stresses that while the cellphone industry used to warn against holding your cellphone against your body, people are now encouraged to carry their phones in their pockets rather than a bag.

Tech Wellness also notes that, “Both Samsung and Apple have commercials showing people lying in bed with their phones and Samsung shows a pregnant woman holding the phone to her belly, which presents the false perception that these devices are safe even when in direct contact with the body.”

Government Research Confirms Safety Concerns

Indeed, there’s plenty of scientific evidence showing there’s cause for concern and prudence. Among the more damning studies are two government-funded animal studies19 that reveal GSM and CDMA radiation has carcinogenic potential.

The finalized report of these two studies — conducted by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), an interagency research program under the auspices of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences — was released November 1, 2018.

While the preliminary report released in February 2018 significantly downplayed the findings, subsequent peer review upgraded the findings of risk. The NTP rates cancer risk based on four categories of evidence: “clear evidence” (highest), “some evidence,” “equivocal evidence,” and “no evidence” (lowest). According to the NTP’s final report, the two studies, done on mice and rats of both sexes, found:

  • Clear evidence for heart tumors (malignant schwannomas) in male rats. These types of tumors started developing around week 70, and are very similar to acoustic neuromas found in humans, a benign type of tumor that previous studies have been linked to cellphone use.
  • Some evidence of brain tumors (malignant gliomas) in male rats. Glial cell hyperplasias — indicative of precancerous lesions — began developing around week 58.
  • Some evidence of adrenal gland tumors in male rats, both benign and malignant tumors and/or complex combined pheochromocytoma.
  • Equivocal or unclear evidence of tumors in female rats and mice of both genders.

While the NTP insists the exposure — nine hours a day for two years, which is the lifetime of a rodent — is far more extensive than that of heavy cellphone users, I would disagree, seeing how many have their cellphones turned on and near their body 24/7. As mentioned, many teens are literally sleeping with their phone beneath their pillow.

NTP Findings Reproduced at Power Levels Below FCC Limits

Corroborating evidence was also published by the Ramazzini Institute just one month after the NTP released its preliminary report in February 2018. The Ramazzini study reproduces and clearly supports the NTP’s findings, showing a clear link between cellphone radiation and Schwann cell tumors (schwannomas) — but at a much lower power level than that used by NTP.

While NTP used RF levels comparable to what’s emitted by 2G and 3G cellphones (near-field exposure), Ramazzini simulated exposure to cellphone towers (far-field exposure). Ramazzini’s rats were exposed to 1.8 GHz GSM radiation at electric field strengths of 5, 25 and 50 volts per meter for 19 hours a day, starting at birth until the rats died either from age or illness.

To facilitate comparison, the researchers converted their measurements to watts per kilogram of body weight (W/kg), which is what the NTP used. Overall, the radiation dose administered in the Ramazzini study was up to 1,000 times lower than the NTP’s — and below the U.S. limits set by the FCC — yet the results are strikingly similar.

As in the NTP studies, exposed male rats developed statistically higher rates of heart schwannomas than unexposed rats. They also found some evidence, although weaker, that RF exposure increased rates of glial tumors in the brains of female rats.

Cellphone Radiation Can Do a Great Deal of Harm

In my view, the fact that popular cellphones are exceeding the legal limit of RF is a significant health concern, as the primary hazard of cellphone radiation is not brain cancer but systemic cellular and mitochondrial damage, which can contribute to any number of health problems and chronic diseases.

Cellphone radiation has also been shown to have a significant impact on neurological and mental health, contributing to and/or worsening anxiety, depression and dementia, for example, and all of these conditions are rampant and growing more prevalent.

Research also suggests excessive EMF exposure is contributing to reproductive problems. For example, researchers have found prenatal exposure to power-frequency fields can nearly triple a pregnant woman’s risk of miscarriage. Studies have also shown cellphone radiation can reduce sperm motility and viability.

It’s really important to realize that the harms of cellphone radiation are not related to the heating of tissue. Rather, it causes a cascade of molecular events that end up causing severe oxidative damage.

5G Will Exponentially Magnify Your Health Risks

The planned implementation of 5G is bound to further magnify the health risks associated with cellphones and other wireless devices. A call for a moratorium on 5G was issued in September 2017 by more than 180 scientists and doctors from 35 countries, “until potential hazards for human health and the environment have been fully investigated by scientists independent from industry.”

The moratorium points out that “RF-EMF has been proven to be harmful for humans and the environment,” and that “5G will substantially increase exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields on top of the 2G, 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi, etc., for telecommunications already in place.”

Despite that, and an appeal for protection from nonionizing EMF exposure by more than 230 international EMF scientists to the United Nations in 2015, the U.S. and many other countries are still moving ahead without any health or environmental impact studies.

At a February 6, 2019, senate commerce hearing, the FCC admitted that no 5G safety studies have been conducted or funded by the agency or the telecom industry, and that none are planned.

The added concern 5G brings is the addition of the millimeter wave (MMW). This bandwidth, which runs from 30 gigahertz (GHz) to 300GHz, is known to penetrate up to 2 millimeters into human skin tissue, causing a burning sensation.

Research has shown sweat ducts in human skin act as receptors or antennae for 5G radiation, drawing the radiation into your body, thereby causing a rise in temperature. This in part helps explain the painful effect.

As noted by Dr. Yael Stein — who has studied 5G MMW technology and its interaction with the human body — in a 2016 letter to the Federal Communications Commission:

“Potentially, if 5G Wi-Fi is spread in the public domain we may expect more of the health effects currently seen with RF/ microwave frequencies including many more cases of hypersensitivity (EHS), as well as many new complaints of physical pain and a yet unknown variety of neurologic disturbances. It will be possible to show a causal relationship between G5 technology and these specific health effects. The affected individuals may be eligible for compensation.”

Aside from pain, MMW has also been linked to eye damage, heightened stress through its impact on heart rate variability, arrhythmias, suppressed immune function and increased antibiotic resistance in bacteria.

If Stein is right about being able to demonstrate a causal relationship between 5G and certain health effects, then the class action against Apple and Samsung will be just the beginning of a flood of lawsuits.

Beyond its health ramifications, a global 5G network will also threaten our ability to predict weather, which will put civilians at risk and jeopardize the Navy. According to a recent paper in the journal Nature, widespread 5G coverage will prevent satellites from detecting changes in water vapor, which is how meteorologists predict weather changes and storms. Time will tell if that will be yet another avenue for legal action.

Take Precautions Sooner Rather Than Later

Clearly, a key take-home message from the Tribune’s testing is that you should never carry your phone in your pocket unless it’s in airplane mode. Carrying it on your body while it’s on is a surefire way to ensure overexposure, and this appears to be true for many different models.

The radiation may even differ from one phone to the next, of the same model, so even if your model happened to rate well at the 2-mm distance in this particular test, it’s not a guarantee your individual phone will not overexpose you.

I am currently writing a book on EMF dangers, called “EMF’d,” which will be a comprehensive resource on current technologies and should be published in February 2020. In the meantime, to learn more about 5G and help educate others, you can download a two-page 5G fact sheet from the Environmental Health Trust.

On their website, you can also access a long list of published scientific studies showing cause for concern. To reduce your EMF exposure, read through the suggestions listed in “A Film About the Impending 5G Apocalypse.” In that article, you’ll also find well-done documentary detailing the many concerns associated with this next-gen technology.

 

~via Mercola.com

POLITICAL PERCEPTION ~ John W. Whitehead on ‘Draining the Swamp’

“Drain the swamps. Surely, we’ve heard that phrase before? Ah yes. Emblazoned on t-shirts and signs, shouted at rallies, and used as a rallying cry among Trump supporters, ‘drain the swamp’ became one of Donald Trump’s most-used campaign slogans. Far from draining the politically corrupt swamps of Washington DC of lobbyists and special interest groups, the Trump Administration has further mired us in a sweltering bog of corruption and self-serving tactics. Funny how the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

~John W. Whitehead

 

~via

American Apocalypse: The Government’s Plot to Destabilize the Nation Is Working

STATE OF THE NATION: “President Trump: BY FAR — The Worst Environmental POTUS In History”

“First, this president, from day one, has highly encouraged and issued specific policy that has provided extraordinary incentives to fracking companies across the USA so that the Trump administration can sell liquid natural gas (LNG) to Russia’s customers in Europe and elsewhere. Secondly, this president has pushed the military deployment of 5G with a vengeance. He has even sung the praises of a “future” and extremely deadly 6G. Thirdly, there is Trump’s egregious failure to shut down the chemical geoengineering operations being conducted in the skies across the country — 24/7. Then there is the intentional weakening of the cornerstone pieces of legislation that undergird the nation’s environmental protection. Fifth, it’s now evident that there’s a total disregard for the health and wellness of the populace by the Trump administration. The BOTTOM LINE: Mother Earth is not happy, Mr. President!”

~State of the Nation

 

President Trump has been — BY FAR — the worst environmental POTUS in history. It’s clear from his many reckless actions, misguided policies and heedless proclamations where it concerns the environment, that he’s a real Neanderthal.

First, this president, from day one, has highly encouraged and issued specific policy that has provided extraordinary incentives to fracking companies across the USA so that the Trump administration can sell liquid natural gas (LNG) to Russia’s customers in Europe and elsewhere. This highly destructive strategy alone is enough to give him the award for the “Worst Enviro POTUS” — EVER! Hydro-fracking has been devastating communities across America since the BP Gulf oil spill.

Secondly, this president has pushed the military deployment of 5G with a vengeance. He has even sung the praises of a “future” and extremely deadly 6G. Truly, his zealous promotion of the 5G roll-out nationwide is enough to make him guilty of GENOCIDE. And, he became the world’s unequalled pitchman for 5G only at the insistence of it being developed in Israel. Hence, he owes an explanation to the American people about why such an inherently dangerous technology is okay for the United States, but not for Israel.

See: Here’s why 5G is NOT allowed in Israel where it was developed

Thirdly, there is Trump’s egregious failure to shut down the chemical geoengineering operations being conducted in the skies across the country — 24/7. Also known as chemtrails, these now ubiquitous toxic aerosols are disseminated from specially equipped U.S. military jets, nonstop, in all 50 states for reasons unknown. The U.S. citizenry is literally being sprayed like bugs and the government has never explained why and has only denied their obvious existence. (CHEMTRAIL SYNDROME: A Global Pandemic Of Epic Proportions). Any POTUS, as Commander-in-Chief of the US Armed Forces, who allows the reckless and incessant pollution of the ambient atmosphere will have to answer to We the People.

Then there is the intentional weakening of the cornerstone pieces of legislation that undergird the nation’s environmental protection. This is where Trump himself has turned back the clock on the most important environmental laws ever enacted. Not only did Trump’s EPA move to gut the Clean Air Act, his administration has also been undermining critical protections mandated by the Clean Water Act. It’s entirely true that environmental activists nationwide consider Trump to be a one-man wrecking crew whose cave-man mentality will destroy the delicate ecological balance wherever he relaxes or terminates necessary rules and regulation.

Fifth, it’s now evident that there’s a total disregard for the health and wellness of the populace by the Trump administration. In fact, “a 2018 analysis reported that the Trump administration’s rollbacks and proposed reversals of environmental rules would likely ‘cost the lives of over 80,000 US residents per decade and lead to respiratory problems for many more than 1 million people’.” This willful negligence by Trump to safeguard the citizenry reflects an unprecedented repudiation of the most fundamental agreement (and basic responsibility) every POTUS swears to uphold. One wonders if Trump even knows how to spell E N V I R O N M E N T.

Lastly, President Trump has done everything in his power to push the stock market as high as he can. It’s as though the DJIA is the primary metric by which he measures his success. Quite unfortunately, this inordinate determination to manipulate daily the NYSE and artificially prop up the various markets has only emboldened Corporate America to run roughshod over the environment. Their high-paid lobbyists and lawyers are as busy as ever re-writing environmental laws in Washington, D.C. and every state house in the nation. In the end, it’s the people who will suffer greatly from this profound betrayal.

There’s much more to this screed, but the foregoing examples sketch out the general picture.

The BOTTOM LINE: Mother Earth is not happy, Mr. President!

 

~via State of the Nation

LISA RENEE: “Genetically Modified Organism”

“Once we gain comprehension of the NAA beyond the corporate greed and political corruption, the willingness to poison the human population’s food supply starts to make a lot more sense.”

~Lisa Renee

 

Genetically Modified Organism or GMO is any organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques (i.e., a genetically engineered organism). GMOs are used to produce many medications and genetically modified foods and are widely used in scientific research and the production of other goods. The term GMO is very close to the technical legal term, ‘living modified organism’, defined in the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, which regulates international trade in living GMOs specifically, “any living organism that possesses a novel combination of genetic material obtained through the use of modern biotechnology”.

A more specifically defined type of GMO is a “transgenic organism.” This is an organism whose genetic makeup has been altered by the addition of genetic material from an unrelated organism. This should not be confused with the more general way in which “GMO” is used to classify genetically altered organisms, as typically GMOs are organisms whose genetic makeup has been altered without the addition of genetic material from an unrelated organism. [1]

GMOs are the Brainchild of the NAA

Genetically modified (GM) foods also known as genetically engineered foods, are foods produced from organisms that have had changes introduced into their DNA using the bio-technology laboratory methods of Genetic Engineering, some of which are subjected to intellectual property rights owned by corporations. The commercial purpose of GMOs is not to feed the world or improve farming despite what the Controller corporations try to spread as positive marketing. Rather, they exist to gain intellectual property over seeds and plant breeding, in order to drive agriculture in directions that benefit the NAA Controller structure for global slavery. This agenda is occurring at the expense of the farmers, all of humanity and the natural world.

The public are told that the commercial sale of genetically modified foods began in 1994, although it was probably introduced into the food supply some time earlier. Hence the long term results and testing of genetically engineered foods on the human body is relatively recent and remains a controversial and repressed subject, in order to avoid negative press in the mainstream media. GMOs were pushed onto the farmers because they still had to generate profits on mass produced foods to sell the corporate monopolies, while the earth and soil are being further poisoned, genetically polluted and depleted. When humanity lives out of balance with the forces of nature, the natural kingdom reveals signs of rapid decay, disease and pest infestation. There are little efforts to clean up the abusive methods of massive toxic waste and chemical soil pollution in commercial food production, but instead to squeeze out corporate profits by genetically engineering foods and livestock over and over again, to splice in new genes thereby creating entirely different organisms with new traits. Control over the world food supply has made the choice to eat healthy more difficult for most people. Even animals will not choose to eat GM foods if given a choice. However, knowing the clear reasons for GMOs it is suggested to avoid consuming them and to stop giving them to children as much as possible.

GM plants such as soybean, corn, cottonseed and canola, have had foreign genes forced into their DNA. The inserted genes come from species such as bacteria and viruses, which have never been in the human food supply. The Transgenes are also transferred to the earth’s soil bacteria and into the human body. Many of these bacteria and virus interfere with the natural protein transcription factors in the human body that are programmed to turn the genetic switches on and off. Natural genes can be deleted or permanently turned on or off, and the genes change their behavior and traits. Even the inserted gene can be damaged or rearranged and may create aberrant proteins that can trigger allergies or disease. Proteins produced by engineered plants are different than what they should be. Inserting a gene into a plant and animal genome using bio-technology results in damaged proteins that are passed on to those who consume these foods.

Thus, genetically modified foods can leave residue and metabolic waste material inside our bodies, as the human body has a hard time digesting and eliminating synthetic chemicals and bio-tech genetically modified foods. This produces GMO related contaminates which are similar to pollution. Most GM crops are engineered to be herbicide tolerant, withstanding large amounts of chemical weed killer, which over many years of use has produced super-weeds that are resistant to the herbicide, which increases the ongoing chemical sprays on food crops. These herbicides are Neurotoxins that are linked to a variety of diseases and birth defects. Genes that have been inserted into genetically engineered foods can transfer into the DNA of the bacteria in our intestines where it continues to function. The toxic insecticide that is produced by genetically engineered corn can get directly into the bloodstream and travel into organs throughout the body.

Most of the health and environmental risks of GMOs are totally ignored by governments’ superficial regulations and safety assessment, by citing rigged research by those with conflicting interests that try to convince the public that GM foods are safe. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for example, does not require safety studies and does not mandate labeling of GMOs. Currently there is no monitoring of GMO-related illnesses and no long-term animal studies. Once we gain comprehension of the NAA beyond the corporate greed and political corruption, the willingness to poison the human population’s food supply starts to make a lot more sense. This is why independent scientific research and reporting the problems with GM foods are fully attacked and suppressed, while any criticism of the published science behind the bio-technology methods of genetic engineering foods, remains off limits for public review and discussion. [2]

 

References:

GMO

Genetic Engineering

See Also:

Mind Controlled Gene Expression

Proteins

 

~via AscensionGlossary.com

ECOWATCH: “Trump’s EPA Won’t Ban Brain-Damaging Pesticide”

“Siding with pesticide corporations over the health and well-being of kids is the new normal at the EPA. Today’s decision underscores the sad truth that as long as the Trump administration is in charge, this EPA will favor the interests of the chemical lobby over children’s safety.” 

Ken Cook – President, Environmental Working Group

 

President Donald Trump‘s U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will not ban the agricultural use of chlorpyrifos, a toxic pesticide that the EPA’s own scientists have linked to brain damage in children.

The decision, announced Thursday, was a response to a petition from public health and environmental groups who had pushed for a ban. The agency ruled that “critical questions remained regarding the significance of the data” on the pesticide’s health effects.

The ruling is the latest in a series of Trump EPA decisions that weaken chemical safety rules. In April, it opted against a full ban on asbestos in favor of restrictions that critics say could usher in new uses. Also this year, it issued restrictions on a paint-stripping chemical that were weaker than a ban proposed during the Obama years. Finally, just last week, it widely expanded the use of the pesticide sulfoxaflor, which its own scientists have shown can harm bees.

“Siding with pesticide corporations over the health and well-being of kids is the new normal at the EPA,” Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook said in a statement. “Today’s decision underscores the sad truth that as long as the Trump administration is in charge, this EPA will favor the interests of the chemical lobby over children’s safety.”

The EPA’s decision came after a federal court ordered the agency to make a final call on the ban by mid-July. Chlorpyrifos has been banned for home use since 2000, but farmers have continued to spray it on crops like apples, strawberries, broccoli and corn. The Obama administration had initiated a ban on agricultural uses of the pesticide, but Trump’s EPA reversed it, setting off a legal battle with environmental advocates. In the absence of federal action, states have moved against the pesticide on their own. Hawaii became the first state to ban chlorpyrifos in 2018, and California announced it would ban the chemical in May. New York is also moving towards a ban.

Research has linked chlorpyrifos exposure to lower IQ, memory loss, breathing problems and increased risk of autism in babies born to mothers who lived near farms where it was sprayed.

“What we have with chlorpyrifos is multiple academic research projects that have shown that actual children who actually live in California are being harmed by this chemical,” said Center for Environmental Health senior scientist Caroline Cox. “It’s pretty rare that you have that kind of evidence for any toxic chemical.”

So how was the EPA able to decide that the science wasn’t conclusive? The ruling was a direct consequence of former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt‘s decision to limit the kinds of studies that regulators could use to make decisions.

Under Mr. Pruitt, the agency proposed a rule saying it could not consider scientific researchunless the raw data behind it was made public, saying the issue was a matter of transparency. Scientists argued that studies measuring human exposure to pesticides and other chemicals often rely on confidential health information and argued the E.P.A.’s real motivation was to restrict the ability to develop regulations.

In opting not to ban chlorpyrifos, the E.P.A. rejected a major study conducted by Columbia University on its effects on children in New York City. The E.P.A. said because it was unable to obtain the raw data and replicate that study, which linked the insecticide to developmental delays, it could not independently verify the conclusions.

The 12 groups who brought the petition against the EPA vowed to keep fighting.

“We will continue to fight until chlorpyrifos is banned and children and farmworkers are safe from this dangerous chemical,” they said in a joint statement reported by Earthjustice, the legal organization that represented the groups.

Former senior EPA attorney Kevin Minoli thought that federal courts would ultimately rule in favor of a ban.

“To me, this starts the clock on the use of chlorpyrifos on food crops in the US.”

 

~via EcoWatch.com