Chlorpyrifos Toxic Chemical Pesticide Lawsuits | Neurological Childhood injuries
Chlorpyrifos is a pesticide that is widely-used throughout the country. There are millions of pounds of this toxic chemical that are used each year. In California alone, there are between 1.1-1.5 million pounds of it used annually. Regardless of the benefits for farmers and crops, people in the surrounding areas are put in serious danger. They can have severe health side effects when they ingest or inhale the substance. Even worse, children can be injured because the toxicity of chlorpyrifos interferes with their intellectual development. Families of children who were disabled after being exposed to chlorpyrifos are filing lawsuits against the makers of this pesticide, claiming that their children’s injuries are the direct result of being around the pesticide.
Chlorpyrifos has been in use for over five decades, ever since Dow Chemical was granted the first patent for it. Now, there are at least six companies who are licensed to manufacture this pesticide. According to EPA screening statistics, chlorpyrifos is used on 52 different crops. It is a versatile chemical, and it is used most often on soybeans. There are 1.5 million pounds of chlorpyrifos applied to soybeans alone each year. Just behind soybeans, there are 1.4 million pounds of the pesticide applied to corn.
Update-3-2022 “In late February, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) upheld its final ruling to ban chlorpyrifos, a gravely harmful organophosphate insecticide. Chlorpyrifos will no longer be used on food crops meant for domestic consumption — a huge victory for bird and human health. The EPA denied all objections to the final rule and requests for stay.” surf birds
2-25-22- “WASHINGTON- Today, as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to protect human health, including that of children and farmworkers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking the next step to discontinue use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos on food by denying objections to EPA’s rule revoking all chlorpyrifos tolerances. “Today’s action shows how EPA continues to put the health and safety of the public first, particularly that of children and farmworkers” said Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Michal Freedhoff. “After more than a decade of studying a large body of science, EPA is taking the next step towards the cancellation of the use of chlorpyrifos on food.” epa
8/18/2021- “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency just took a huge step toward protecting kids and farmworkers from a toxic pesticide linked to lifelong intellectual disabilities. On August 18, the agency announced that it will ban chlorpyrifos from all food crops. Earth Justice
Chlorpyrifos Is Known to Be Extremely Dangerous
There are known dangers of chlorpyrifos, both for people who eat the products that have been treated with it and for those who breathe in the toxins. Despite these concerns, there has been little done to curtail the usage of chlorpyrifos. To the contrary, this is a key product for farms and Big Food and a large moneymaker for Big Chemical.
Chlorpyrifos is known for its extreme toxicity. It works by blocking an enzyme that carries messages between nerve cells. It kills pests by paralyzing them. The nervous system will malfunction and lead to eventual death. It goes without saying that being exposed to a paralyzing agent cannot be safe for human beings, even if the product is only intended to work on pests. This pesticide comes from the same family as the chemical warfare agent Sarin to give an idea of how deadly it is.
Side Effects of Exposure to Chlorpyrifos
Chlorpyrifos is one of the most toxic chemicals on the market, and it has been to blame for many poisonings. People who are exposed to chlorpyrifos can suffer the following side effects:
- Respiratory paralysis (at very high exposures)
These side effects all result from the impact that chlorpyrifos has on the central nervous system. Even lower exposure can cause complications.
Chlorpyrifos also has an apparent effect on human development, and this is the basis of the lawsuit. Not only can children be injured by being exposed to the chemical, but they can also ingest it while they are in the womb. By the time they are born, they have already suffered an irreversible injury.
Parents began filing lawsuits against the major manufacturers of these drugs in 2020. They have sued the following companies:
- Dow AgroSciences (now Corteva Inc.)
- Drexel Chemical Company
- AMVAC Chemical Corp.
- Direct AG Source
They are seeking damages from defective products that they claim injured their children.
California Lawsuits for Chlorpyrifos Injuries
One lawsuit was filed by the family of a girl who was born in December 2006. In July 2006, before she was born, a neighboring farm applied over 700 pounds of chlorpyrifos. In the years after she was born, the farm applied an additional 900 pounds of the pesticide. By kindergarten, the girl was showing signs of deficits in attention, cognition, language skills, fine motor skills, and social skills. Eventually, she was diagnosed with autism, obesity, and vision problems. It is highly unlikely that she will live a normal life, and she will require assistance for the rest of her life.
The lawsuit complaint (and those similar to it) place the blame for these developmental problems on the toxic pesticides in the children’s environment, both when they were in utero and after they were born.
Plaintiff families have been exposed to chlorpyrifos in the following ways:
- The plaintiff’s mother in the above case was a farmworker on a farm that used chlorpyrifos
- Families and children are exposed to chlorpyrifos because it pollutes the groundwater
- Children breathe in and ingest the chemical when it drifts from the crops into the air
Dow Chemical already has a checkered history with chlorpyrifos. The company was fined by the EPA for failing to disclose adverse events relating to the pesticide. The FDA has already determined that chlorpyrifos can be toxic to children and has ordered makers to apply additional safety steps when children may be exposed. Dow has even had to pull chlorpyrifos off the market for some uses when they knew that children were being exposed to the residue on apples and tomatoes.
Even though Dow acknowledges that chlorpyrifos is dangerous on tomatoes and apples, it somehow thinks that this pesticide is still entirely safe for other uses. In the meantime, children in areas where these pesticides are used are diagnosed with developmental disabilities at higher rates.
Grounds for Chlorpyrifos Lawsuits
Families are alleging a number of grounds in their lawsuits against the makers of these chemicals. They include:
- Negligence – the makers of these chemicals concealed the risks from the public and failed to take steps to protect the public in spite of known risks
- Product liability – the makers of these chemicals knew of the risks and failed to warn the public
- Product liability – the pesticide had a defective design that made it unreasonably dangerous
In addition, the plaintiffs are also suing neighboring cities for the pollution in the water supply and applicators of the pesticides for their negligence in spreading the pesticides.
If you live in an area where chlorpyrifos has been used, and your child has been diagnosed with developmental disabilities, you have legal rights. You can file a lawsuit against the makers of the pesticide. If a jury finds that the makers were negligent or sold a defective product, you could be entitled to financial compensation for the considerable costs that conditions like autism impose. First, you need to contact an attorney to file a lawsuit.