Pesticides and kids just don’t go together. The Environmental Protection Agency’s so-called “tolerance levels” for pesticides are good for the agriculture industry, not infants and children. That’s right – despite growing research showing that pesticides can be harmful at very low doses, the EPA still allows more pesticides on fruits and vegetables than scientists say is safe.

Hazardous pesticides like chlorpyrifos have been linked to serious health effects like brain and nervous system damage in kids – even at small doses. A kid eating just one peach or even a single strawberry with legally allowable residues of chlorpyrifos would exceed the EPA’s own safe exposure level for this food alone.

The current EPA pesticides tolerances are like having a 500 mph speed limit – if the rules of the road are so loose, it’s impossible to violate them. It’s time the EPA fulfilled its mission to protect human health by accounting for exposures to multiple pesticides on produce and limiting pesticide residues on food overall.

Nearly 70 percent of conventional fruits and veggies test positive for at least one pesticide, after they’ve been washed or peeled. It’s clear Americans are being exposed to low doses of multiple pesticides on a regular basis. And with the new EPA administrator, polluters’ friend Scott Pruitt, at the helm, the agency is backtracking on its earlier goals of limiting toxic pesticides.

Thanks for standing with us,

Sonya Lunder
Senior Research Analyst, EWG