Working near pesticide-sprayed fields increases Parkinson’s risk: study

June 1, 2011

Los Angeles – Working near fields sprayed with certain pesticides may increase a person’s risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, according to a new study from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Researchers used geographic information to estimate ambient exposure to the pesticides for people such as firefighters, teachers and clerks who worked near, but not in, fields treated with the pesticides, a study abstract stated. They found exposure to three chemicals – ziram, maneb and paraquat – increased the risk of developing Parkinson’s threefold, while combined exposure to ziram and paraquat led to an 80 percent higher risk.

The study, which appeared online in the European Journal of Epidemiology, builds on earlier research showing people who lived near fields sprayed with the pesticide had a 75 percent higher risk of developing Parkinson’s.