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Lawsuits in California Allege Pesticide Caused Brain Damage in Children

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Lawsuits filed in California seek potential class-action damages from Dow Chemical and its successor company over a widely-used bug killer linked to brain damage in children.  According to a KTLA news report, chlorpyrifos is approved for use on more than 80 crops, including oranges, berries, grapes, soybeans, almonds, and walnuts, even though California banned sales of this pesticide last year and spraying of it this year. Exposure to the chemical, either direct or secondhand, can cause serious issues, such as neurological damage.

Lawsuits to Seek Class Action Status

According to the complaint, at least 100,000 homes in California, the country’s largest agricultural state, may have to dispose of most of their belongings because the pesticide taints them. The complaint states that the chemicals are in the furniture, carpeting, and children’s toys.

The lawsuits were filed on behalf of families in Fresno, Kings, Madera, and Tulare counties and are a precursor to seeking class-action status. In each case, the plaintiffs are parents suing on behalf of their children who suffer from severe neurological damage that the lawsuits blame on exposure to the chemical while they were in the womb or when they were very young. The lawsuits say parents or other relatives in frequent contact with children who worked in fields or packing plants also became contaminated with the chemical, which they then passed on to the child.

The Dangers of Chlorpyrifos

Chlorpyrifos, a widely used pesticide, has been strongly linked to brain damage in children. These and other health concerns have led several countries and some U.S. states to ban chlorpyrifos, but the chemical is still allowed on food crops in the U.S. after successful lobbying by its manufacturer.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, representing more than 66,000 pediatricians and pediatric surgeons, has warned that continued use of chlorpyrifos puts developing fetuses, infants, children, and pregnant women at significant risk. Researchers have also found that prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos is linked to lower birth weight, reduced IQ, loss of working memory, attention disorders, and delayed motor development.

Exposure to harmful toxins could cause serious health effects, particularly in developing children. If your loved one has suffered adverse health effects as a result of exposure to toxic chemicals, you must understand your legal rights. Contact an experienced California personal injury lawyer who can help you better understand your options.


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California Personal Injury Blog