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Pesticides & Parkinson’s—Connection Clearer than Ever
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?
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Derrick Z. Jackson
As much as hurricanes Katrina and Maria upended African American and Latinx families, the landfall of the coronavirus brings a gale of another order. This Category 5 of infectious disease packs the power to level communities already battered from environmental, economic, and health injustice. If response and relief efforts fail to adequately factor in existing disparities, the current pandemic threatens a knockout punch to the American Dream.
'We Need People's Bailout, Not Polluters' Bailout': Climate Groups Move to Preempt Big Oil Giveaway Amid Pandemic
By Andrea Germanos
A coalition of climate organizations strongly criticized President Donald Trump's in-person Friday meeting with the chief executives of some of the biggest fossil fuel companies in the world, saying the industry that fueled climate disaster must not be allowed to profiteer from government giveaways by getting bailout funds or preferred treatment during the coronavirus pandemic.
An Important Note
No supplement, diet, or lifestyle modification — aside from social distancing and practicing proper hygiene — can protect you from developing COVID-19.
The strategies outlined below may boost your immune health, but they don't protect specifically against COVID-19.
By Zak Smith
It is pretty amazing that in this moment when the COVID-19 outbreak has much of the country holed up in their homes binging Netflix, the most watched show in America over the last few weeks has been focused on wildlife trade — which scientists believe is the source of the COVID-19 pandemic. Make no mistake: Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is about wildlife trade and other aspects of wildlife exploitation, just as surely as the appearance of Ebola, SARS, MERS, avian flu and probably COVID-19 in humans is a result of wildlife exploitation. As a conservationist, this is one of the things I've been thinking about while watching Tiger King. Here are five more:
By Hector Chapa
With the coronavirus pandemic quickly spreading, U.S. health officials have changed their advice on face masks and now recommend people wear cloth masks in public areas where social distancing can be difficult, such as grocery stores.
But can these masks be effective?