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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Health Update

Air Date: Week of

Diane Toomey reports on a new study that links the use of pesticides in the home and garden to a risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.


TOOMEY: Exposure to pesticides in the home and garden may increase chances of developing Parkinson's Disease. That's according to a new study from Stanford University researchers. They questioned nearly 500 Parkinson's patients about their past use of pesticides, and then compared the answers to those given by a group which didn't have the disease. The study found people exposed to pesticides were about twice as likely to develop Parkinson's, a neurological condition that affects more than half a million people in the U.S. But not all exposures produce the same risk. For instance, the use of insecticides in the home was associated with the highest likelihood of getting the disease. But in the garden, it was herbicides that presented the greatest risk. Researchers think some pesticides attack a part of the brain associated with movement, which in turn may leave people vulnerable to developing Parkinson's Disease. And that's this week's Living on Earth health update. I'm Diane Toomey.



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