Pesticides in well water increase risk of Parkinson’s disease

Well water isn’t always healthy: Pesticide-contaminated well water has been hypothesized as a cause of Parkinson’s disease, with several epidemiologic studies providing support. A new study in Environmental Health Perspectives bolsters the hypothesis: rural residents in a part of California’s farm country (Fresno, Kern and Tulare counties) who got their drinking water from private wells that have been contaminated with agricultural pesticides have increased risk of Parkinson’s disease. The researchers used California’s Pesticide Use Reporting system to estimate pesticide application near the residences of a group of 368 people afflicted with Parkinson’s disease and 341 control subjects. The source of the subjects’ drinking water and other necessary information was obtained via interviews. High levels of estimated contanimation resulted in 31% to 90% higher risk of Parkinson’s disease, with the highest correlations found for methomyl, chlorpyrifos, and propargite.  (L.A. Times Greenspace)

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