Most Americans understand that in order to continue maintaining the world’s leading economy, corporations have to be regulated as lightly as possible and allowed to make a profit. But most also understand that there should be limits to both; regulations cannot be so light as to allow corporations to harm people or the environment, and profits should never be tied to products that harm.
But Dow Chemical is being allowed to do both, as it puts pressure on farmers to continue using a pesticide that scientists and researchers have tied to childhood ADHD and autism.
As reported by The Intercept, no comprehensive studies were done prior to 2014 into the link between autism and the chemical chlorpyrifos, which Dow manufactures as one of its principle pesticide ingredients.
The CHARGE study, conducted by the University of California-Davis, examined the environmental causes of autism and developmental delay. It found that nearby applications of agricultural pesticides dramatically boost the risk of autism.
Researchers found that mothers who lived less than a mile from fields being sprayed with chlorpyrifos during their second trimester of pregnancy increased their chances of having their child develop autism more than threefold.
Since then, dozens of other studies have linked even small amounts of fetal exposure to the chemical with other neurodevelopmental problems, including ADHD, lower IQ and intelligence, and difficulties in learning.