The Environmental Protection Agency rejected a petition to ban a pesticide linked to neurological damage in children on Thursday, The Washington Post reports. The pesticide, chlorpyrifos, is widely used as a last resort to protect crops and studies have found that “lower birth weight and reduced I.Q.” are effects of exposure to the chemical in families. However, the agency said “critical questions remained regarding the significance of the data” showing that the pesticide can be harmful to children. Its manufacturer, Corteva Agriscience, reportedly told the agency it would be open to restricting some uses of the pesticide.
The Obama administration proposed banning all uses of chlorpyrifos in 2015 because it did not meet the EPA’s standard of “reasonable certainty of no harm.” However, before the ban was finalized, the Trump administration dropped the effort. California and Hawaii have voted to ban chlorpyrifos, and New York lawmakers have approved legislation for a ban.