Last week, Hawaii became the first US state to ban the use of pesticides containing chlorpyrifos, a chemical that has been linked to causing developmental delays in children.
Senate Bill 3095, which was introduced back in January, was unanimously passed and signed into effect by Gov. David Ige (D).
The legislation prohibits any person or agricultural establishment from using pesticides containing chlorpyrifos as an active ingredient, starting on January 1st, 2019. Businesses will be allowed to apply for extensions on the deadline should they need more time to adjust to the change.
However, the pesticides will not be allowed within 100 feet of any school.
“Protecting the health and safety of our [kids] and residents is one of my top priorities. We must protect our communities from potentially harmful chemicals,” said Ige in a statement.
“At the same time, Hawaii’s agriculture industry is extremely important to our state and economy. We will work with the Department of Agriculture, local farmers and the University of Hawaii as we seek safe, alternative pest management tools that will support and sustain our agriculture industry for generations to come,” he added.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency originally recommended banning the chemical in 2015, and now Hawaii’s groundbreaking legislation may stir more states to act.
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