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US review shows pesticides harm threatened salmon, whales

FILE - In this Friday, Aug. 29, 2014 file photo, Pinot Noir grapes just picked are shown in a bin in Napa, Calif. Federal scientists have determined that a family of widely used pesticides poses a threat to dozens of endangered and threatened species, including Pacific salmon, Atlantic sturgeon and Puget Sound orcas. The National Marine Fisheries Service issued its new biological opinion on three organophosphate pesticides _ chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion _ after a years-long court fight by environmental groups. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal scientists have determined that a family of widely used pesticides poses a threat to dozens of endangered and threatened species, including Pacific salmon, Atlantic sturgeon and Puget Sound orcas.

The National Marine Fisheries Service issued its new biological opinion on three organophosphate pesticides — chlorpyrifos (klohr-PY'-rih-fohs), diazinon (dy-AZ'-uh-nahn) and malathion (MAL'-uh-thy-ahn) — after a yearslong court fight by environmental groups.

The report makes detailed recommendations to the Environmental Protection Agency for new restrictions on how and where the pesticides can be sprayed.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in March reversed an Obama-era effort to bar the use of chlorpyrifos on fruits and vegetables after peer-reviewed academic studies found that even tiny levels of exposure could hinder the development of children's brains.

The agency didn't respond Friday to messages seeking comment.

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