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Researchers Find Link Between Third Pesticide and Parkinson’s Disease

IN 2009, researchers at UCLA linked Parkinson’s Disease (PD) to two chemicals commonly sprayed on crops to fight pests. The study didn’t examine farmers, but rather focused on people living near the farm fields where the chemicals maneb and paraquat were sprayed. They found that, for those residents, the risk for PD increased 75%.

A follow-up study adds two new twists. Funded by the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences and Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the U.S. Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program, and the American Parkinson’s Disease Association, researchers have now implicated a third pesticide, ziram.

This time, the population tested also included people who worked near sprayed fields- including firefighters, teachers, and clerks. They found that the combined exposure to ziram, maneb and paraquat near any workplace increased the risk of PD threefold, while combined exposure to ziram and paraquat alone was associated with an 80 percent increase in risk. The results appear in the current online edition of the European Journal of Epidemiology.

Animal studies have already shown that such pesticide exposure triggers a neuro-degenerative process that leads to Parkinson’s.

To read more about the study:

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