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If You Can Hear My Voice: The Fight to Ban Chlorpyrifos

Claudia Angulo’s son was born with developmental delays after she was exposed to chlorpyrifos during her pregnancy. She’s fighting for a ban on the pesticide.

What is chlorpyrifos? The pesticide is known to damage children’s brains. Exposure to chlorpyrifos at low doses is linked to reductions in IQ, memory loss, and other developmental disabilities, according to mounting studies. At higher doses, it can cause paralysis and even death. It is commonly used on dozens of U.S. crops, including apples, broccoli, and citrus.

In this video, Claudia Angulo describes how chlorpyrifos has harmed her family. Her son, Isaac, suffered brain damage after she was exposed to the pesticide during pregnancy. Since Isaac’s diagnosis with ADHD, she has worked to raise awareness about the chemical’s health effects in children.

What is Earthjustice doing? For years, Earthjustice and our partners have fought to convince the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to ban chlorpyrifos. In 2016, the agency agreed to do so. Then President Donald Trump appointed an EPA administrator who refused to implement the ban, falsely claiming the science around the pesticide was unresolved.

Earthjustice represented a dozen health, labor, and civil rights groups in a lawsuit to hold the U.S. EPA accountable. Last year, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the agency to heed its own scientists and implement a ban. But the U.S. EPA continues to drag its feet, so we continue to fight.