Date of Graduation

Spring 5-19-2017

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Nursing and Health Professions

First Advisor

Erin Grinshteyn

Second Advisor

Courtney Keeler


Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate neurotoxic insecticide, which poses a significant risk to children’s health. Exposure to chlorpyrifos during childhood, infancy and pregnancy has been linked to autism, ADHD, developmental delays, and lower IQ. My internship at the Natural Resources Defense Council in San Francisco consisted of completing analyses and creating science, policy and communications materials to support health protective policies for chlorpyrifos in the market and at the federal and state levels. Information pertaining to the widespread use and harmful effects of chlorpyrifos was gathered and presented in fact sheets, spreadsheets, graphs and bulleted talking points. Data analyses and literature reviews were conducted on specific states to identify chlorpyrifos policy as well as use and harmful effects in agricultural communities. Market research was conducted on chlorpyrifos use and residues on apples, from which a fact sheet was created advocating for organically grown produce. The EPA’s list of alternatives was analyzed for efficacy, price and toxicity. A general chlorpyrifos fact sheet was created translating the scientific findings and analyses into lay terms, for state policy makers and the market. On March 29th 2017, the EPA announced its decision to deny the petition, filed in 2007 by the NRDC and PANNA, to revoke all uses of chlorpyrifos on food crops. Further work will include suing the EPA to appeal the government’s decision and implement a court-imposed ban on chlorpyrifos. If this proves unsuccessful advocates and coalitions must come together to generate public awareness as to the harmful effects of this toxic chemical, one way this can be accomplished is by conducting further epidemiological studies. A top priority for pesticide reform coalitions must be to revoke all food crop uses of chlorpyrifos in individual states, this can be achieved by lobbying state policy makers and regulatory agencies for health protective policy reform.