Prolonged exposure to pesticides, bug and weed killers, and solvents appears
to raise the risk for developing Parkinson's disease, a new study says.
Italian investigators who reviewed more than 100 prior studies found exposure
to such agents boosted Parkinson's disease risk by anywhere from 33% to 80%,
they reported in the issue of the journal Neurology.
"Due to this association, there was also a link between farming or country
living and developing Parkinson's in some of the studies," study leader Dr
Emanuele Cereda, of the IRCCS University Hospital San Matteo Foundation in
Exposure at work
Some studies specifically explored how home or work environment affected
disease risk. Where individuals got their water also was the subject of some
Exposure either to the weed killer paraquat or the fungicides maneb and
mancozeb appeared to double the risk for Parkinson's, a progressive movement
disorder, the researchers found.
"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," Cereda said.
"However, our study suggests that the risk increases in a dose response
manner as the length of exposure to these chemicals increases."
Although the research found a link between certain chemicals and Parkinson's,
it didn't prove they actually cause the disorder.
For more on Parkinson's, visit the US
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.