Comitta, Zabel fight to ban use of toxic pesticide in Pennsylvania
HARRISBURG, March 3 – State Rep. Carolyn Comitta, D-Chester, voiced her support for H.B. 2091, which aims to ban the use of chlorpyrifos, an insecticide, in Pennsylvania during the Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Advisory Board meeting today.
Chlorpyrifos is the nation’s most used insecticide, with approximately six million pounds being used across 10 million acres between 2009 and 2013. Rep. Mike Zabel, D-Delaware, authored H.B. 2091, which specifically aims to prohibit its use in any amount in Pennsylvania.
During the meeting, Comitta cited the possible side effects from being exposed to chlorpyrifos in high doses, including headaches, nausea, dizziness, confusion, vomiting, abdominal pain and even death at extremely high levels of exposure.
“States throughout the country such as California, Hawaii and New York have already banned this toxin, and the Environmental Protection Agency even recommended it be banned five years ago because of the serious harm it can pose to human health, particularly for children,” Comitta said. “I proudly support my colleague Representative Zabel’s legislation and call for a thorough examination of this deadly toxin to eradicate it from our commonwealth.”
“I introduced this bill to ban a toxic insecticide that threatens the health of Pennsylvanians – and in particular, the neurological development of our children,” Zabel said. “The continued use and misuse of chlorpyrifos has the potential to create a direct and lasting negative impact on our communities, agricultural industry and ecosystem. There is a reason that other states have already acted to protect not only human lives, but birds, fish and bees.”
H.B. 2091 awaits consideration in the House Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee.