September 18, 2009
Workplace pesticides linked to Parkinson’s
U.S. researchers suggest a causal relationship between Parkinson's disease and eight pesticides.
The study, published in the Archives of Neurology, looked at eight pesticides with high neurotoxic plausibility and found using these pesticides encountered on the job -- versus those not exposed -- doubled the risk of Parkinson's disease.
A three-fold increased risk of Parkinson's was associated with three individual compounds: the organochloride 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, the herbicide paraquat and the insecticide permethrin.
Dr. Caroline Tanner of the Parkinson's Institute in Sunnyvale, Calif., the lead author, and colleagues surveyed 519 individuals with Parkinson's disease and 511 controls who were the same age and sex and lived in the same location about their occupational history and exposure to toxins, including solvents and pesticides.
This convergence of epidemiologic and laboratory data from experimental models of Parkinson's disease lends credence to a causative role of certain pesticides in the neurodegenerative process, the researchers said in a statement.