Thursday, a federal court ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to ban a pesticide used widely in farming, according to a CNN report.
The 2-1 ruling on a lawsuit brought by public health groups and state attorneys general ordered the agency "to revoke all tolerances and cancel all registrations for chlorpyrifos within 60 days."
CNN reports that concerns that the insecticide can harm the brain and nervous system led to the EPA banning the household use of chlorpyrifos in 2000. But the agency had allowed the chemical to continue to be used in commercial agriculture, where, some scientists say, it can be used in safe quantities.
Leydy Rangel with the UFW, an organization that has long opposed the use of chlorpyrifos, says the ruling is a victory for not only farm workers but their families and children.
“They come home and they hug their kids with that same clothes that came in contact with those pesticides,” said Rangel.
State data shows Kern County is the top user of the pesticide in California, second only to Tulare County.
Data also shows that more than 1.1 million pounds of Chlorpyrifos were use statewide in 2015 -- with more than a quarter of that in Kern County alone.