Chlorpyrifos is a broad-spectrum, chlorinated organophosphate insecticide, acaricide and nematicide. Chlorpyrifos is used on food production and feed crops, cattle ear tags, golf course turf, industrial plants and vehicles, non-structural wood treatments including processed wood products, fence posts and utility poles, and to control public health pests such as mosquitoes and fire ants. Chlorpyrifos is registered for indoor residential use only in the form of containerized baits. Uses for individual products containing chlorpyrifos vary widely. Chlorpyrifos was patented in 1966 by Dow Chemical Company.
Chlorpyrifos kills insects upon contact by affecting the normal function of the nervous system. Chlorpyrifos affects the nervous system by inhibiting the breakdown of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter.
Signs and symptoms typically develop within minutes to hours after an acute exposure to chlorpyrifos. Initial signs and symptoms include tearing of the eyes, runny nose, increased saliva and sweat production, nausea, dizziness and headache. Signs of progression include muscle twitching, weakness or tremors, lack of coordination, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and pupil constriction with blurred or darkened vision.Signs of severe toxicity include increased heart rate, unconsciousness, loss of control of the urine or bowels, convulsions, respiratory depression, and paralysis.
Psychiatric symptoms associated with acute exposure include anxiety, depression, memory loss, confusion, stupor, bizarre behavior, and restlessness. Chlorpyrifos is included in the 2007 draft list of initial chemicals for screening under the U.S. EPA Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program. The list of chemicals was generated based on exposure potential, not based on whether the pesticide is a known or likely potential cause of endocrine effects.
How Did It Get In My Drinking Water?
Chlorpyrifos can enter the environment through regular agricultural use. Chlorpyrifos can be carried into surface water by storm water runoff, spray drift, or soil erosion, even when used according to label instructions. Chlorpyrifos oxon can form in the environment when Chlorpyrifos breaks down, or when water containing Chlorpyrifos is chlorinated during drinking water treatment.
Epic Water Filters has tested several products for the removal of Chlorpyrifos.