Pesticides, Weed Killers May Increase Parkinsons RiskA review of more than 100 studies finds that exposure to solvents, bug killers and weed killers is linked to a higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

In the meta-analysis, researchers combined 104 studies that looked at exposure to weed, fungus, rodent or bug killers, and solvents and the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

Studies that evaluated the distance from the exposure source, such as country living, work occupation and well-water drinking, were also included.

“Due to this association, there was also a link between farming or country living and developing Parkinson’s in some of the studies,” said study author Emanuele Cereda, M.D., Ph.D.

Investigators discovered exposure to bug or weed killers and solvents increased the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by 33 to 80 percent.

In controlled studies, exposure to the weed killer paraquat or the fungicides maneb and mancozeb was associated with two times the risk of developing the disease.

“We didn’t study whether the type of exposure, such as whether the compound was inhaled or absorbed through the skin and the method of application, such as spraying or mixing, affected Parkinson’s risk,” said Cereda.

“However, our study suggests that the risk increases in a dose-response manner as the length of exposure to these chemicals increases.”

The research appears in the print issue of Neurology®.

Source: American Academy of Neurology

Pesticide warning sign photo by shutterstock.