Exposure to pesticides can increase the risk of Parkinson's disease by as much as 39 per cent, researchers have found. Even low exposure can raise the risk by 9 per cent.
The new study, which involved 959 sufferers, confirms a link made by earlier research between the disease and pesticides, which found that a higher percentage of agricultural workers developed the disease than did people in the general population.
In the new study, the group revealed their lifetime exposure to chemicals such as solvents, pesticides, iron, copper and manganese.
The findings were compared with those from people who didn't have the disease, and the researchers concluded that pesticides were a clear cause. Family history also played a significant part, as did the number of times the person was knocked out.
(Source: Occupational and Environmental Medicine, May 2007; published online: doi:10.1136/oem.2006.027003).
E-news broadcast 31 May 2007 No.364