There have been reports that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator and industry lobbyist Scott Pruitt wants to replace Jeff Sessions as attorney general, but he can get plenty of people killed from his current office.
The EPA under Pruitt is reportedly going to reverse an Obama-era rule prohibiting teenagers from working with toxic and deadly chemicals.
In particular, the agency is considering changing or scrapping the requirement that anyone working with pesticides in agriculture be at least 18 years old. [...]
The EPA may also tweak or do away with the age requirements of another recent rule, which spells out who can be certified to be an applicator of the chemicals that the EPA classifies as the most toxic. That could make it legal for minors to work with what are known as “restricted-use” pesticides, like arsenic and methyl bromide, in a host of industries beyond just agriculture, such as landscaping and pest control.
The EPA originally drafted these rules because restricted pesticides can cause brain damage in minors, but this shouldn't surprise us.
This wouldn't even be the first time Scott Pruitt has made a decision that could cause brain damage in children. Pruitt approved the use of a pesticide chemical last year, chlorpyrifos, that can also cause brain damage in minors. You may recall that over 50 farmworkers were sickened last year after Pruitt cleared chlorpyrifos for use.
Lawsuits have been filed against the EPA challenging Pruitt's decision to green-light chlorpyrifos and I expect we'll also see lawsuits challenging his upcoming decisions to allow teenagers to handle such chemicals.