EPA Moves to Ban Toxic DCPA Weed Killer

A Step Forward for Public Health

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington has shed light on a serious issue. They’ve found that a weed killer called DCPA is dangerous. DCPA is also known as Dacthal. It’s been used on food crops and sports fields for a long time. Now, the EPA thinks it might be time to stop using it altogether.

The Risks with DCPA, and Why It Matters

The EPA’s recent study shows DCPA could harm people, especially pregnant women. This weedkiller is found on many crops and in dust at homes near farms. The EPA’s findings are based on new research. This research says DCPA can hurt unborn babies even at low levels. These levels are similar to what farm workers might be exposed to.

The EPA is sharing their findings now for a good reason. They want to make sure people know about the risks of DCPA. It might take years to officially ban it. So, informing the public now is key. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) praises this move. They say it’s important that people know about the dangers in their food and water.

For years, DCPA has been used on many foods like kale and collard greens. The EWG’s guide on pesticides in produce found DCPA on these crops. This is troubling because it means many people might be eating foods with DCPA without knowing it.

DCPA isn’t just a possible danger; it’s a real concern. It has been linked to cancer and harms the thyroid. In places like Ventura County, California, thousands of pounds of DCPA are used on farms. This puts farmworkers and nearby families at risk.

DCPA has been around since 1958. It’s used on food crops and sports fields. But, its safety has been questioned for a long time. In 1995, the EPA said it might cause cancer. The European Union banned it in 2009. Despite this, DCPA is still used in the U.S. The EWG has been pushing for a ban for years.

Looking Ahead

The EPA is thinking about what to do next. They might stop the use of DCPA completely. This would be a big step. But, because a ban could take a long time, they’re telling the public about the risks now.

DCPA doesn’t just stay on farms. It drifts into homes, especially those near fields where it’s used. Studies have found DCPA in dust in these homes. One study even linked it to a higher risk of childhood leukemia.

A study found that many teenage girls in farmworker communities are exposed to DCPA. This is alarming because it shows how widespread the exposure is. The EPA is working to protect these communities from DCPA’s harm.

The EPA’s move to possibly ban DCPA is a big deal. It shows they’re serious about protecting people’s health. But, until a ban happens, there are ways to reduce your risk. One way is to be careful about the food you eat. Another way is to use water filters at home.

The EPA’s focus on DCPA is a wake-up call. It’s a reminder that just because something is legal, doesn’t mean it’s safe. The potential ban on DCPA could protect many people from its dangers. Until then, being informed and taking steps to reduce exposure is key.

Source: https://www.ewg.org/news-insights/news-release/2023/06/biden-epa-moves-closer-total-ban-toxic-weedkiller-dcpa



Why Filters Matter

Filters can help make your water safer. They can remove harmful chemicals like DCPA. This is important for keeping your family safe. Reverse osmosis filters are especially good at this. They can clean your water right at home.