The latest report elaborated by the Costa Rican Ministry of Health (MINSA), the Ministry of Aqueducts (AyA), and the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) advised prohibiting the chemical Chlorothalonil.
It’s worth highlighting that this substance has been forbidden in other countries because it is a dangerous and highly polluting toxin that can be extremely detrimental to humans, contaminate water and air, and kill fish, bees, birds, and amphibians.
The communities of the northern area of Cartago have been demanding a ban on Chlorothalonil for more than three years.
Frente EcoCipreses, a local organization, publicized the contamination of the water consumed in their community with derivatives of Chlorothalonil. Given the situation, they have also led a national campaign for its prohibition.
The organization was the first to raise its voice in 2020 when the results of the water analysis conducted by the Regional Institute on Toxic Substances of the National University showed the presence of the carcinogenic fungicide.
In this study issued on April 14, experts explained that Chlorothalonil shouldn’t be allowed in the country.
“Considering the risks analyzed, it is recommended that Chlorothalonil be prohibited in Costa Rica, in line with the measures adopted by the European Union. Safety measures and alternatives for agriculture should be implemented to minimize the exposure of workers and consumers and ensure the protection of water sources, the environment, and the population’s health,” the specialists affirmed.
For the Frente EcoCipreses, this is an “environmental feat,” as they have finally managed to be heard.
Unfortunately, members of the organization have been the target of attacks and have been harassed by the Asada de Cipreses and importers, who have denied the contamination, despite scientific evidence and legal protection.
The group also denounced the inaction of the Ministry of Agriculture, as they believe the institution hasn’t paid attention to the issue.
“Will the public welfare, science, and the technical criteria of MINAE, AyA, and Health win, or will the economic interests behind chlorothalonil, well represented by MAG, end up cracking the executive branch?” said Fabian Pacheco, expert in Environmental Biology.