Maryland Legislators Partially Ban Chlorpyrifos

Becomes the fourth state to ban chlorpyrifos, but law will sunset in four years

ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Maryland General Assembly passed S.B. 300 today, making Maryland the fourth state to ban Dow’s brain-damaging pesticide. Maryland now joins Hawai’i, California and New York in protecting children, farm workers and endangered species from this toxic chemical. However, the Maryland ban sunsets in four years.

In 2015, EPA scientists recommended banning the chemical due to concerns about children’s health. But the Trump administration reversed course, forcing states to step up to protect their own public health and environment.

Jason Davidson, food and agriculture campaigner with Friends of the Earth, issued the following statement in response:

We applaud the General Assembly for banning this toxic pesticide and providing protections for children, farmers, farmworkers and the environment in the short term. Chlorpyrifos has no place in our food and farming system, and this is a tremendous step in the right direction.

Unfortunately, the sunset provision means that Maryland children will only get a reprieve from this toxic pesticide for 4 years. It’s time for Maryland to protect our communities and our environment by banning chlorpyrifos completely and permanently.

In February, the Maryland Department of Agriculture began the regulatory process of banning chlorpyrifos, themselves. Despite the announcement, the Maryland Senate originally passed S.B. 300 just days later, following widespread support from across the state, including letters from Maryland farmers, scientists and faith leaders.

EPA scientists have concluded that there are virtually no safe uses of chlorpyrifos. The agency also found that children are exposed to 70 to 140 times the safe level of chlorpyrifos through food and drink alone. Studies following children exposed to chlorpyrifos throughout early development have found an increased risk of autism, reduced IQ, ADHD and loss of working memory.

Expert contact: Jason Davidson, [email protected], (202) 222-0738
Communications contact: Aisha Dukule, [email protected], (202) 893-3502

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