Pesticide

Last week, the EPA announced new regulations on use of the fungicide, chlorpyrifos, a known toxin commonly used on potato crops. The new ruling will lower the allowable applications and the restrictions will be on product labels later this year, the agency reports in a statement released on the EPA website.

The new restrictions come in part as a result of a petition filed by the Pesticide Action Network and the Natural Resources Defense Council. The petition asked the EPA to “revoke all tolerances and cancel all registrations of chlorpyrifos.” The EPA says that while none of the six claims warrants revoking the product fully, it has set new limits, which the agency says will decrease the health risks associated with chlorpyrifos.

Drifting pesticides including chlorpyrifos are creating serious health problems throughout central Minnesota, reports The Huffington Post. Continual low-dose exposure and random heavy doses of serious toxins are being detected in farming communities across the region.

According to the article:

From 2006 to 2009, in an effort to detect pesticides in the air they breathed, residents of central Minnesota set up air monitors on everything from back patios to school rooftops. One or more pesticides were found in 64 percent of 340 samples taken by the so-called drift catchers, according to results published by the nonprofit Pesticide Action Network in May. The most commonly detected chemical was a potato fungicide, chlorothalonil, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classifies as a ‘probable’ carcinogen and ‘highly toxic’ if inhaled.

Rates of allergy and asthma are on the rise throughout the potato-growing region, and many of the pesticides are known carcinogens.

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