Letter to the editor: Make sure this dangerous chemical isn’t used in Edmonds



As a class project, I was assigned to research a chemical known commonly as chlorpyrifos. And when I started researching, I learned some disturbing facts that I want to share with the community of Edmonds.

Chlorpyrifos, or CPS, is an organophosphate insecticide and is found in pesticides. It can be fatal in large doses, or if someone is exposed for a long time. It also shares similarities to a nerve gas agent called sarin, which can kill a man in under 10 minutes. Both are organophosphorus compounds. CPS is used around the world, although it was mostly banned in non-agricultural areas in 2001 in the U.S. But recently, Scott Pruitt, the new controversial head of the EPA under the Trump Administration, overturned the ban on this dangerous chemical.

Although it isn’t used in the city of Edmonds currently, it could be used in the future. It used to be in the common Raid used as an insecticide, but isn’t anymore. Although, now that the ban is lifted, pesticide/insecticide companies are free to use CPS again. It can be sprayed on fences, telephone poles, playgrounds, and other public spaces. Pregnant women and their children are particularly at risk, because CPS can cause severe birth defects.

I am writing this letter because I want to make sure chlorpyrifos is never used in Edmonds by telling as many people as I can, since the ban was overturned. I’ve been a student in Edmonds for almost 11 years. I never want to see this chemical used in our city, or on our public parks and streets, and hope that now you feel the same. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.

Ashley Butler
Edmonds Heights K-12 School

9 Replies to “Letter to the editor: Make sure this dangerous chemical isn’t used in Edmonds”

  1. Kudo’s for Ashley Butler for a well written, informative letter. Thank you for all your research Ashley, and for taking the next step, ACTION. I shall join you in the effort to inform my friends and neighbors in Edmonds.


  2. Ashley, it should be part of your research to talk to the person in Edmonds who is involved in decisions like using chemicals.
    Why not talk or write Phil Williams who is in charge of Public Works in Edmonds.
    He might have interesting information for you.


  3. The overturning of this ‘ban’ will have absolutely no impact on the restrictions put in place in 2000 (no residential use). Also, restrictions put in place in 2012 basically eliminates usage around residential areas, recreation areas and public spaces by designating buffer zones.

    What the reversal DOES do is allow large agricultural operations to continue to utilize the most widely used and effective pesticide available. I fail to see how this results in its application on playgrounds and telephone poles (???) in Edmonds. More than likely the real motivation of this ‘research’ is exposed in the line, “Scott Pruitt, the new controversial head of the EPA under the Trump Administration”.


  4. Jeff – If you are correct that this reversal will “allow large agricultural operations to continue to utilize the most widely used and effective pesticide available”, how is that at all acceptable? If a chemical is toxic enough to require a buffer zone, it’s too toxic for use, especially in agriculture. When heads of government agencies, responsible for protecting the citizens act with such disregard, they do need to be exposed.


  5. Ashley, thank you for raising awareness in our community so that we have an opportunity to make a pro-active choice. It is always inspiring to see young people civically engaged and working to make a positive difference. I look forward to seeing how this moves forward and what else your class project uncovers. Kudos to your teacher for using a creative and engaging lesson that encourages civic engagement at a young age.


  6. Thank you for your research Ashley. Without concerned people like you big corporations would run rampant with whatever means, to make more money regardless of concern for quality of life for others. Awareness and activism is needed as much now as ever.
    I hope you will continue your interest in the kinds of issues that affect your fellow beings. I also hope you will never be afraid to stand your ground and continue to learn how to deal with those that may disagree with you.
    A healthier, more compassionate world is critical for our future. People like you give me hope.


  7. Thank you all for the considerate comments and criticism, I value it all and love how supportive the community is! This is the first time I’ve ever done something like this, and will definitely keep writing passionately.
    Again, thanks to everyone who took the time to read this letter.


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