Quantcast

Pesticides & Parkinson’s—Connection Clearer than Ever

Pesticide Action Network

By Margaret Reeves

This kind of evidence can't be ignored. Scientists report that the risk of Parkinson’s Disease is significantly greater for individuals with a history of exposure to pesticides. They reached this conclusion after reviewing data from six decades of research.

The results were strongest for exposure to weedkillers and insecticides—not so strong for those pesticides designed to kill disease-causing fungi. And the risk was greatest when exposure was associated with work activities, such as applying pesticides in the field.

Many studies have linked pesticides and Parkinson’s in recent years, including one in 2006 that found individuals who applied pesticides more than 400 days in their lifetime had nearly double the risk of Parkinson’s, compared to those who had applied pesticides for fewer days.

More recently we reported on a study showing that the combination of commonly used pesticides can triple Parkinson's risk, and another identifying the mechanism through which pesticide exposure may trigger onset of the disease.

Strong evidence from population studies

This latest review is significant because it looked at (and compared) a range of population studies.

The three types of studies reviewed include:

1. Case–control studies, in which people with the disease are compared with disease-free individuals that are otherwise similar

2. Cohort studies, which evaluate the risks of acquiring the disease among people disease-free individuals who share other characteristics such as age, occupation or exposure within a defined period

3. Cross-sectional studies, which describe all individuals in a selected population, often used to describe absolute or relative risks of a disease.

One 2009 study in California’s Central Valley showed a link between pesticide-contaminated drinking water and development of Parkinson's. The Central Valley is notorious for having some of the highest rates of pesticide use in the country. Researchers found that high levels of well-water contamination with methomyl, chlorpyrifos and propargite increased the relative risk of Parkinson's by 70–90 percent.

For me, this issue hits close to home. Two members of my immediate family have struggled with Parkinson's. Although my grandmother didn't spend a lifetime on a farm, she did spend a few years. It just makes me wonder—could her disease have been prevented?

For more information, click here.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Gretchen Goldman

The Independent Particulate Matter Review Panel has released their consensus recommendations to the EPA administrator on the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter. The group of 20 independent experts, that were disbanded by Administrator Wheeler last October and reconvened last week, hosted by the Union of Concerned Scientists, has now made clear that the current particulate pollution standards don't protect public health and welfare.

Read More Show Less
An African elephant is pictured on November 19, 2012, in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. MARTIN BUREAU / AFP / Getty Images

The unprecedented drought that has caused a water crisis in Zimbabwe has now claimed the life of at least 55 elephants since September, according to a wildlife spokesman, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Maria Dornelas.

By John C. Cannon

Life is reshuffling itself at an unsettling clip across Earth's surface and in its oceans, a new study has found.

Read More Show Less
An Exxon station in Florida remains open despite losing its roof during Hurricane Katrina on Aug. 29, 2005. Florida Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Shaun Withers

The country's largest fossil fuel company goes on trial today to face charges that it lied to investors about the safety of its assets in the face of the climate crisis and potential legislation to fight it, as the AP reported.

Read More Show Less
El Niño's effect on Antarctica is seen in a tabular iceberg off of Thwaites ice shelf. Jeremy Harbeck / NASA

El Niños are getting stronger due to climate change, according to a new study in Monday's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

By Julia Ries

  • Antibiotic resistance has doubled in the last 20 years.
  • Additionally a new study found one patient developed resistance to a last resort antibiotic in a matter of weeks.
  • Health experts say antibiotic prescriptions should only be given when absolutely necessary in order to avoid growing resistance.

Over the past decade, antibiotic resistance has emerged as one of the greatest public health threats.

Read More Show Less
Pexels


There are hundreds of millions of acres of public land in the U.S., but not everyone has had the chance to hike in a national forest or picnic in a state park.

Read More Show Less
Workers attend to a rooftop solar panel project on May 14, 2017 in Wuhan, China. Kevin Frayer / Getty Images

By Simon Evans

Renewable sources of electricity are set for rapid growth over the next five years, which could see them match the output of the world's coal-fired power stations for the first time ever.

Read More Show Less