The ‘Environmental Research’ journal has just published a report that shares evidence of a concerning correlation between exposure to pesticides and the neurological condition Parkinson’s disease.
The publication Science Direct shared findings from researchers who had accessed the French National Health Insurance Database to search for reported incidents of Parkinson’s disease in farmers between 2010-2015.
The scientists then examined an agricultural census that recorded pesticide expenditure by French growers in the year 2000. Models were adjusted for a range of health factors, including gender, age, smoking habits. In total, data on growers working in 3571 French regions was collated.
The report revealed evidence of a worrying correlation, and asserted that winegrowers who spent the largest sums of money on pesticides had a 16% higher risk of developing Parkinson’s.
There were 10,282 recorded incidents of Parkinson’s disease identified in French growers who had been exposed to pesticides via their work. However, the research failed to establish a link within other agricultural sectors.
The report stated:
“This result suggests that agricultural practices and pesticides used in these vineyards may play a role in PD and that farmers in these farms should benefit from preventive measures aimed at reducing exposure.”
A study undertaken by University California Los Angeles in 2008 suggested that prolonged exposure to fungicides could also increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s.
However, encouragingly, over the last decade, the volume of synthetic chemicals used in major regions such as Bordeaux has dramatically decreased..
“Between 2014 and 2016, the use of pesticides that are classified as CMR (Carcinogenic, Mutagenic or Toxic for reproduction) in Bordeaux vineyards was more than halved, seeing a 55% reduction in just three years,” said a representative from the CIVB.