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.