Insecticide Use Linked to Parkinson's Disease

By National Gardening Association Editors

Every gardener knows that great care should be used in applying any pesticide. Exposure to pesticides can have serious short- and long-term health effects. Recent research points to the gravity of the danger.

Previous studies have suggested a link between Parkinson's disease and pesticide exposure, especially for men. The Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina and the University of Miami conducted a study to determine the types of pesticides and exposure that caused the most risk. After evaluating 319 families, they concluded that individuals with Parkinson's disease were significantly more likely to report having been exposed to pesticides through direct application than their relatives without the disease. While exposure to pesticides through drinking water didn't show a direct link to the disease, direct herbicide and insecticide use was shown to have a positive association. In particular, the use of organophosphorus and organochlorine classes of insecticides were shown to significantly increase the risk of the disease.

For more information on this study, go to: BMC Neurology.

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