Lawsuits filed Monday 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.
Chlorpyrifos is approved for use on more than 80 crops, including oranges, berries, grapes, soybeans, almonds and walnuts, though California banned sales of the pesticide last year and spraying of it this year. Some other states, including New York, have moved to ban it.
Stuart Calwell, lead attorney in the lawsuits, argued that its effects linger in Central Valley agricultural communities contaminated by chlorpyrifos during decades of use, with measurable levels still found in his clients’ homes.
Lawyers project that at least 100,000 homes in California may need to dispose of most of their belongings because they are contaminated with the pesticide.