EPA Greenlighted Toxic Chemical In March. Now More Than 50 Farm Workers Have Been Poisoned

In March Donald Trump’s EPA decided to OK a very toxic chemical that was set to be banned. Now, two months later, 50 California farm workers have been poisoned.

I know I keep repeating this, but this administration is dangerous. And they demonstrate that fact every day. Every. Single. Day.

The EPA under Scott Pruitt is a very good example. The EPA has become just as reckless as Trump himself. That’s definitely not good. And now people are being seriously hurt.

One of the first major decisions that Scott Pruitt made was to greenlight the toxic chemical chlorpyrifos. Chlorpyrifos was set to be banned. And then in March, Pruitt inexplicably did an about-face and decided to let it stand.

Maybe the reason Pruitt made this decision is because he just doesn’t give a damn about the American people…or the environment. But another reason could be that this administration has a very cozy relationship with Dow Chemical.

On March 30 Dow AgroSciences put out a press release saying,

“Dow AgroSciences supports U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to deny the petition to revoke U.S. food tolerances and cancel the registration of chlorpyrifos. Dow AgroSciences remains confident that authorized uses of chlorpyrifos products offer wide margins of protection for human health and safety. This is the right decision for farmers.”

The right decision for farmers? Oh really? Well, tell that to the 50 California farm workers who have now been poisoned by chlorpyrifos.

Mother Jones is reporting,

On May 5, more than 50 farmworkers outside of Bakersfield, California, were exposed to a highly toxic pesticide that apparently drifted from a nearby field—at a high enough level that “twelve people reported symptoms of vomiting [and] nausea and one person fainted,” reports the television news station Kern Golden Empire. “An additional twelve workers did not show signs of any symptoms,” the station reported. “However more than half of the farm workers left before medical aide arrived.”

After the poisoning was reported, public relations officer at Kern County Public Health, Michelle Corson, made an urgent TV announcement saying,

“Anybody that was exposed, that was here today, we encourage them to seek medical attention immediately. Don’t wait. Particularly if you’re suffering from any symptoms. Whether it’s nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, seek medical attention immediately.”

Public health officials believe that chlorpyrifos was the active ingredient in the pesticide that poisoned the workers. But a full investigation will not be complete for at least a week.

The National Pesticide Information Center warns.

“Exposure to the chemical through inhalation can cause initial symptoms like “tearing of the eyes, runny nose, increased saliva and sweat production, nausea, dizziness and headache,” followed by possible “muscle twitching, weakness or tremors, lack of coordination, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and pupil constriction with blurred or darkened vision…..even at very low doses, the chemical triggers effects among children ranging from lower IQ to higher rates of autism”

It’s worth noting that Dow Chemical gave $1 million to Trump’s inauguration committee. And Trump made the company’s Chairman and CEO, Andrew Liveris, chair of the American Manufacturing Council.

Mindy Fischer

Mindy Fischer

Mindy Fischer is a lefty-liberal, freelance political writer. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter.
Mindy Fischer