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Pesticides, Weed Killers May Increase Parkinson’s Risk

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.

Pesticides, Weed Killers May Increase Parkinson’s Risk

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Pesticides, Weed Killers May Increase Parkinson’s Risk. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 22, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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