Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Use of insecticides linked to lasting neurological problems for farmers

29.04.2005


New research shows that farmers who used agricultural insecticides experienced increased neurological symptoms, even when they were no longer using the products. Data from18,782 North Carolina and Iowa farmers linked use of insecticides, including organophosphates and organochlorines, to reports of reoccurring headaches, fatigue, insomnia, dizziness, nausea, hand tremors, numbness and other neurological symptoms. Some of the insecticides addressed by the study are still on the market, but some, including DDT, have been banned or restricted.



These findings will be available online in April, and published in the June issue of Environmental Health Perspectives. The research is part of the ongoing Agricultural Health Study funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Cancer Institute, two of the National Institutes of Health, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

"This research is really important because it evaluated the health effects of agricultural chemicals as they were commonly used by farmers. It’s different from previous studies that focused on pesticide poisoning or high dose exposures, for example when large amounts of a chemical were accidentally spilled on the skin," said Freya Kamel, Ph.D., a researcher for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).


The NIEHS researchers examined questionnaires completed by farmers on lifetime exposure to herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, and fumigants, and their history of 23 neurological symptoms. Those who reported experiencing more than 10 symptoms during the year prior to completing a study questionnaire were classified as having high levels of symptoms.

Researchers found that nearly 3,000 participants had a high lifetime exposure to insecticides -- that is, they used insecticides more than 500 days in their lifetime. Nearly 800 of these farmers reported more than 10 neurological symptoms compared to those using insecticides fewer than 50 days. The researchers found no significant association between neurological symptoms and other chemicals, including herbicides or fungicides, and only a weak association between fumigant exposure and neurological symptoms.

Some of the insecticides used by the licensed farmers over the past 25 years are no longer available commercially. DDT, a well known example of an organochlorine, has been banned for use in the US since 1972. Organophosphates, such as malathion, chlorypyrifos, and diazinon, have been banned or restricted for home and garden use in the US. However, some of the pesticides examined, including carbaryl and some pyrethroids, are available to home gardeners, although in different formulations and in lower concentrations, which may make them less hazardous.

"Because the participants in this study are telling us they have never been previously diagnosed with pesticide poisoning or medically treated for any exposure to any pesticide, we are led to conclude that their symptoms are related to moderate lifetime exposure," said Dr. Kamel.

"Most studies of this issue have sample sizes ranging from 50 to 100 participants, making it hard to understand the detailed relationship between exposure and health effects. The large size of this study gives it great statistical power," said Dr. Kamel.

Robin Mackar | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.niehs.nih.gov
http://www.aghealth.org/

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First diode for magnetic fields

Innsbruck quantum physicists have constructed a diode for magnetic fields and then tested it in the laboratory. The device, developed by the research groups led by the theorist Oriol Romero-Isart and the experimental physicist Gerhard Kirchmair, could open up a number of new applications.

Electric diodes are essential electronic components that conduct electricity in one direction but prevent conduction in the opposite one. They are found at the...

Im Focus: Nonstop Tranport of Cargo in Nanomachines

Max Planck researchers revel the nano-structure of molecular trains and the reason for smooth transport in cellular antennas.

Moving around, sensing the extracellular environment, and signaling to other cells are important for a cell to function properly. Responsible for those tasks...

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Coherence Tomography: German-Japanese Research Alliance hosted Medical Imaging Conference

19.11.2018 | Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helping to Transport Proteins Inside the Cell

21.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Meta-surface corrects for chromatic aberrations across all kinds of lenses

21.11.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Removing toxic mercury from contaminated water

21.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>