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Update: A second accuser emerges with misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavenaugh. Also on the Monday rundown: We take you to a state where more than 60,000 kids are chronically absent from school; and we'll let you know why the rural digital divide can be a two-fold problem.

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Labor, Environmental Groups Seek Ban of Chlorpyrifos

While residential use of chlorpyrifos is banned in the US, only Hawaii has halted its use in agriculture. (Pixabay)
While residential use of chlorpyrifos is banned in the US, only Hawaii has halted its use in agriculture. (Pixabay)
July 10, 2018

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – A federal judge heard final arguments Monday in a case challenging the Environmental Protection Agency's decision not to ban a widely used pesticide linked neuro-developmental issues in children.

A coalition of labor and health organizations represented by Earthjustice went before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal in Seattle, urging the court to force the EPA to ban the chemical chlorpyrifos, which was declared unsafe during the Obama administration.

Hector Sanchez, the executive director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, says the current administration is turning its back on sound science.

"They have been proven to lower the IQ of children, and they have loss of working memory and attention deficit disorder, something that is totally unacceptable, and that's why we are uniting forces to come together and say enough is enough," he says.

A Dow Chemical spokesman said in a statement, "Dow AgroSciences remains confident that authorized uses of chlorpyrifos products offer wide margins of protection for human health and safety."

While the chemical already has been banned in residential use since 2001, last month, Hawaii moved forward with a ban in agriculture.

Sanchez was not surprised to learn the EPA under former administrator Scott Pruitt reversed course after a meeting with the head of Dow Chemical.

"Corporations are profiting at the expense of the health of our children and families, and this is a call to action," he adds. "This is a call to end the pain of our families."

Last month, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh joined six attorneys general in challenging the EPA's failure to label chlorpyrifos as unsafe for humans in any quantity.

Trimmel Gomes, Public News Service - MD