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Appeals court orders Trump administration to ban pesticide harmful to children's brains within 60 days

Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

SAN FRANCISCO -- A federal appeals court on Thursday ordered the Trump administration to revoke approval for a widely used pesticide that studies show can harm the brains of children.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals gave the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 60 days to ban chlorpyrifos, a pesticide initially developed as a nerve gas during World War II.

The 2-1 decision stemmed from a 2007 petition by two environmental groups to prevent the chemical from being used on food.

The groups cited studies that found children and infants who had been exposed prenatally to low doses of chlorpyrifos suffer from reduced IQ, attention deficit disorders and delayed motor development that last into adulthood.

"The EPA failed to take any decisive action in response to the 2007 petition, notwithstanding that the EPA's own internal studies continued to document serious safety risks associated with chlorpyrifos use, particularly for children," the panel said.

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The Trump administration decided last year to keep the pesticide on the market.

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