Pesticide linked to autism, lower IQ found in high levels in Kern County

Posted at 4:44 PM, Aug 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-17 19:44:44-04

A neurotoxic pesticide linked to autism and lowered IQ has been found in the air in Kern County, according to a study released Thursday. 

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation found that the pesticide, called Chlorpyrifos, is in the air at a rate of 18 times higher than the EPA's level of concern.

Chlorpyrifos is primarily manufactured by Dow Chemical Co. It was banned from home use back in 2000 because of links to a wide range of neurological and developmental impacts. Chlorpyrifos was slated this year for a total federal ban on food use, but that decision was reversed by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, offering no scientific basis for his decision.

Thursday's news of the high concentration comes on the heels of two recent drift incidents in Kern County involving the pesticide, which harmed dozens of farm workers.