A nerve agent has no place on a playground. This is why, as of 2012, the U.S. Federal Government mandated “‘no-spray”buffer zones around public spaces, including recreational areas and homes. However, a blanket ban in the works for years was recently repealed by the Trump administration and a potentially lethal chemical is now free for use on crops and golf courses, as well as the land surrounding fences, utility poles, and more.
It’s called chlorpyrifos, and the effect this pesticide has on infants and young children can be devastating. Chlorpyrifos can irreversibly damage the nervous system of a developing child, causing mutations “visible across the surface of the brain, with abnormal enlargement of some areas and thinning in others.” This consistently leads to “deficits in IQ and working memory,” as well as developmental and behavioral disorders. As of 2012, the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health reported that chlorpyrifos “may eliminate or reverse the male-female differences that are ordinarily present in the brain”. Visit this study by Columbia University for more details.
Parks and playgrounds have always provided our children with a safe place for games and laughter, but the use of chlorpyrifos pesticides puts our children in serious danger that can be easily avoided. As of now, chlorpyrifos is not being used by the City of Edmonds. However, it is our duty to keep it that way. In the interest of our children, I implore you to play your part in ensuring that the generations to come will grow up just as capable as their parents and grandparents. Attend city council meetings and talk to your representatives about a local chlorpyrifos ban. This can and will bring us ever closer to an Edmonds where no child is in danger of being poisoned by a swing set or baseball field. It needs to happen, and it needs you.