Home » Uncategorized » Ask the EPA to ban chlorpyrifos — the pesticide that killed Katherine

Ask the EPA to ban chlorpyrifos — the pesticide that killed Katherine


There is a limited window of opportunity to comment directly with the EPA about the re-registration of chlorpyrifos, one of the deadliest of the organophosphates, the pesticide that we have every reason to believe killed Katherine, our beloved and brilliant eight-year-old.  You can comment on the EPA notification website directly at http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0850-0200  This is the preferable option, and it is possible to upload documents; I attached my book proposal on environmental chemicals and childhood health.

You may also go through an advocacy group like EarthJustice, but the EPA does not count duplicate or near-duplicate emails, so online activism may otherwise come to nothing.  When I posted, the EPA website said it had received only twelve comments on this re-registration; the EPA appears to be doing its best to stay in bed with the chemical industry and to close its ears to regular citizens.  Whichever way you go, it’s important to customize your message so they know you mean it.  Why do you wish to protect your children or your pets or yourself or future generations from deadly toxins?  Here is what I said:

It’s not just farmers who are harmed by pesticides.  Children are routinely and catastrophically exposed to these chemicals.  Our daughter Katherine died of leukemia we have every reason to believe was caused by mosquito spraying with chlorpyrifos without our knowledge or permission.  This exposure to deadly substances…deadly *particularly* to preschoolers…is tantamount to legal murder.  Our beloved Katherine was killed just as certainly and predictably as if someone had sprayed our house with bullets.  And indeed that might have been preferable, given her terrible suffering.  Nearly all the scientific literature of the last 50 years supports this connection between childhood cancer and organophosphates.  In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics declared pesticides a clear and present danger for childhood health: “Children encounter pesticides daily and have unique susceptibilities to their potential toxicity….  Epidemiologic evidence demonstrates associations between early life exposure to pesticides and pediatric cancers, decreased cognitive function, and behavioral problems” (AAP 2012).  How many such letters must the mothers of dead children write, when the substance of our knowledge about the dangers of pesticides was in place when Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring more that 50 years ago?

Please take a moment to make a difference.  The next life affected could be your own.



  1. Martin says:

    I wrote: “There is a clear body of evidence that Chlorpyrifos exposure, even in very small doses, has harmful effects upon the cognitive, behavioral, and motor performance and development of children.

    Chlorpyrifos may presently be sold in restricted-use products for certified pesticide applicators to use in agriculture and other settings such as golf courses or mosquito control. These regulations, although well-intetioned, are insufficient to protect our children; after all, children spend time on golf courses, and “mosquito control” often involves spraying in areas where children are active.

    Please do more to protect children and other at-risk populations from this dangerous organophosphate.”

  2. […] exposures like this, regardless of income level and privilege. Once released into the environment, organophosphates like chlorpyrifos can drift and cause untold damage. Once brought inside through pesticide drift, […]

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