Life under the Trump administration just put an end to the old adage, What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.
Trump’s EPA recent decisions to approve the pesticide sulfoxaflor, a known pesticide that harms bees, and the decision to weaken the ban on methylene chloride, the chemical paint stripper linked to dozens of deaths, seem to be just the tip of the iceberg chipping away at our chemical safety laws. Come to think of it, icebergs are also dying in a warming world as Trump ratchets up his war on our health and environment.
Bowing to the interests of wealthy corporate lobbyists, the Trump EPA’s latest assault lands on children and pregnant women. The decision to allow chlorphyrifos, a pesticide sprayed on crops – apples, strawberries, broccoli, corn – after studies showed that chlorpyrifos damages the brains of fetuses and children, is cause for serious alarm.
“By allowing chlorpyrifos to stay in our fruits and vegetables, Trump’s EPA is breaking the law and neglecting the overwhelming scientific evidence that this pesticide harms children’s brains,” Patti Goldman, a lawyer for Earthjustice said in a statement to the New York Times.
In a letter to the EPA, five senators raised concerns about undermining our chemical safety laws. Senators Cory Booker, Tom Udall, Ed Markey, Jeff Merkley and Sheldon Whitehouse asked why the agency isn’t requiring more information about chemicals from producers.
A recent report from the Environmental Defense Fund found that EPA has approved more than 80% of the chemicals it reviewed over the past year. According to EDF lead scientist Dr. Richard Denison, “The chemical industry is practically running the agency that regulates it.”
What makes us stronger is what keeps us healthy – but only when politicians put aside powerful corporate interests and do the right thing: Protect the health of American citizens from toxic chemicals.