combined pesticides may cause Parkinson’s

Two pesticides combine to raise risk of

In the first study of its kind, a survey of
more than 700 residents of California’s Central Valley suggests that people who
live near farm fields sprayed with a combination of pesticides have an elevated
risk of acquiring Parkinson’s disease. The results, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found that
residents who lived within 500 meters of tomato, bean and potato fields sprayed
with a combination of maneb and paraquat had 75% greater risk of Parkinson’s
disease. Environmental Health News (EHN) reports that exposing
children to the pesticide combo posed “an even higher risk.”
Residents aged 60 were “five times more likely to be diagnosed with
Parkinson’s disease.” Although this was the first study to investigate the
combined impacts of the two pesticides, it adds to a growing body of evidence
that suggests chemical cocktails of two or more pesticides can be more harmful
than any single chemical acting alone. Rodents exposed to a mixture of maneb
and paraquat in lab experiments suffered nerve cell loss, diminished motor
activity and decreased levels of dopamine, an essential neurotransmitter. EHN
notes that, because the study did not include tests for pesticides in blood and
urine, “other factors” may account for the observed relationship.

Thanks to Pesticides Action Network for this news brief. You can subscribe here to their PANUPS e-newsletter.