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Maryland AG Joins Lawsuit Against EPA Over Pesticide Chlorpyrifos

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Six states, including Maryland, are suing the Environmental Protection Agency and its administrator for continuing to allow a widely-used and possibly dangerous pesticide to be used on food.

Attorney General Brian Frosh joined the lawsuit Wednesday calling the pesticide, chlorpyrifos, a "poison" that is contaminating common foods.

The EPA's website says chlorpyrifos has been in use as a pesticide since 1965, and at high doses can cause over-stimulation of the nervous system, nausea, dizziness, confusion and even death.

The suit accuses the EPA of letting the pesticide stay in use without ensuring it will not harm infants or children as required by law, Frosh's office said.

In 2017, the EPA denied a request to ban the pesticide, saying at the time that the science about the chemical's possible harmful effects remained unresolved.

The agency said it is reviewing chlorpyrifos as part of a normal registration review that happens every 15 years for all pesticides. The review for chlorpyrifos is required to be completed by October 1, 2022..

The attorneys general of California, New York, Washington, Massachusetts and Vermont have also joined the lawsuit. Hawaii and the District of Columbia are expected to join on Thursday.

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