The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not discontinued some chemical pesticides that are discontinued by manufacturers and being phased out in other countries. Other agricultural powerhouses such as China, Brazil, and the European Union are imposing stricter regulations on agricultural pesticide use. A new study by Nathan Donley, an environmental health researcher with the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group based in Portland, looks into the details of this. The report can be found in this month’s Environmental Health.
Changing Pesticide Regulations
Compared with other countries, the United States restrictions on chemical pesticides tend to e laxer. The danger with this is that potentially harmful pesticides are still in use. In the study, the agricultural pesticide regulations of the top agricultural countries were compared. It was found that a number of chemicals that have completely banned abroad or are being phased out in global leaders are still widely used in the United States.
The limiting factor on the use of agricultural pesticides in the United States, according to the study, is that industrial pesticide manufacturers are the ones phasing out and discontinuing their own products. this is in place of any restrictions being placed by the EPA.
Over 500 pesticides were covered in the study to establish the approval status in different agricultural giants. It was found that 72 pesticides approved in the United States are banned or being phased out in the EU. 17 pesticides, which are approved in the United States, are banned or being phased out in Brazil. Finally, 11 pesticides, which are approved in the United States, are banned or being phased out in China.
Included in these alarming numbers are some chemicals which are being investigated or have been implicated for pesticide poisoning. Among these are chloropicrin and paraquat.