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Hawaii Becomes First U.S. State to Ban Chlorpyrifos Pesticide

Hawaii recently became the first U.S. state to ban pesticides containing chlorpyrifos, a chemical that consumer associations have long contended is a dangerous neurotoxin that causes significant damage to brain development in children. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had proposed to ban these pesticides under the Obama administration but the current administration reversed course, prompting a number of U.S. states to consider restrictions of their own.

The prohibition will enter into force by January 2019, although any user that wishes to continue using chlorpyrifos will be able to do so through 2022 by applying for an exemption with the state. According to the Center for Food Safety, which provided significant legal, policy and lobbying assistance in connection with this effort, in addition to banning chlorpyrifos the new law creates 100 foot no-spray buffer zones around schools and requires large-scale pesticide users to disclose the restricted use pesticides they are spraying. CFS notes that the mandatory reporting and no-spray zone provisions in the new law are effective immediately with no exemptions.

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