Senator Ben Cardin's fight to protect EPA authority over pollution discharge permits controlling many of the pesticides in our waterways ("Cardin Leads Fight Over Pesticides," July 3) is critical to the health of the Chesapeake Bay and to all of us who live in the watershed. His action deserves the support of all Marylanders who care about protecting and improving the waters around the bay.
Pesticides harm our water quality, aquatic life and human health. Many pesticides have been shown to cause harm to humans, even at low doses. They are linked to certain cancers, as well as reproductive, neurological, developmental and respiratory problems – including birth defects, infertility, autism, learning disabilities, Parkinson's Disease andasthma.
Just last year, "intersex" fish — with both male and female reproductive organs — were found in the Susquehanna River, which leads into the bay, and The Sun reported on November 2, 2010 that intersex fish have been found on the Eastern Shore in six lakes and ponds on the Delmarva Peninsula. EPA is taking action, evaluating 67 pesticides as potential endocrine disruptors.
We cannot allow the dismantling of laws and regulations that protect our children's health, as well as the quality of the water we drink, swim, fish and play in.
The writer is project director of the Pesticides and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Project.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun