I am a licensed Massachusetts elementary school teacher in good standing, a former foster care worker, and a former manager of a chronic disease clinic.
The eighth annual World Autism Awareness Day was April 2. Findings from the medical literature examined in the “Pesticides in Paradise,” report show that fetal exposure to pesticides in utero and exposure in early life is linked to neurobehavioral disorders such as ADHD, developmental delay, and autism.
The EPA is behind the times. For example, the Lancet Neurology, published in 2014, regarding neuro-toxicants like lead, chlorpyrifos, and methyl mercury, “To control the pandemic of developmental neurotoxicity, we propose a global prevention strategy. Untested chemicals should not be presumed to be safe to brain development, and chemicals in existing use and all new chemicals must therefore be tested for developmental toxicity.” Chlorpyrifos exposure to the unborn fetus can cause a thinner human brain cortex which is measured years later, reports Lancet Neurology, in 2014.
At least 27 schools in Hawaii are located within one mile where RUPS, or restricted use pesticides, like chlorpyrifos, are sprayed.
This is why the new Joint Fact Finding Report for Kauai Pesticides has recommended testing of children who are exposed, exactly as the Lancet has determined.
It is clear that 15-year-old students from Korea, Finland, and Switzerland far out rank American and Hawaiian students in international PISA math/science scores. American math scores have minimized to a ranking of 36 out of 65, where first place is Shanghai, China. This deplorable collapse of the ranking of American intelligence scores may be in part, connected to neuro-developmental disabilities from a saturation of biotech toxins and other toxins in our food and environment.
Developed nations like Switzerland have already banned chlorpyrifos. Typically, Third World nations are taken advantage of reports the Lancet Neurology, in their 2014 report.
Dr. Jim Yong Kim, MD., president of the World Bank, who favors an exponentially growing peace time international economy, said these types of untested toxins, need to be medically tested to establish co-morbidity variables for diseases like cancer (and co-variables for neuro-develpmental toxicity, and autism, etc.) reports the Lancet Burden of Disease Report, published 2010. Hawaii needs to model economic growth after developed nations who don’t poison their own people with chemicals like chlorpyrifos.
Of course, wisdom demands, as Dr. Adler’s report recommends, that there must be immediately set up publicly acknowledged pesticide perimeter zones as a first step. Also, any wise people would ban chlorpyrifos and other such chemicals as the more academically advanced nation Switzerland has done.
Will M. Davis is a Lihue resident.