Health & Fitness

Pesticides near workplace raises Parkinson’s risk: Study

ISLAMABAD: People exposed to pesticides at workplace are at a greater risk of suffering from Parkinson’s disease, a brain disorder among the aged, a study by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) school of public health said Saturday. the study, published in the Science Daily, said:

“The researchers have found that the combined exposure to ziram, maneb and paraquat (types of pesticides) near any workplace increased the risk of Parkinson’s disease (PD) threefold, while combined exposure to ziram and paraquat alone was associated with an 80 percent increase in risk,”

Parkinson’s disease, a brain disorder common after the age of 50, leads to shaking and difficulty with walking, movement and coordination. The research comes as a follow-up to the study conducted by UCLA researchers that established a link between the disease and two chemicals commonly sprayed on crops to fight pests.

It found that the risk for Parkinson’s disease for these people increased by 75 percent. Beate Ritz, senior author and professor of epidemiology, UCLA school of public health, said: “Our estimates of risk for ambient exposure in the workplaces were actually greater than for exposure at residences. And, of course, people who both live and work near these fields experience the greatest parkinson’s disease risk.”

The disease occurs when the nerve cells that make muscle-controlling brain chemical called dopamine are destroyed. “Our results suggest that pesticides affecting different cellular mechanisms that contribute to dopaminergic neuron death (damage to dopamine-producing cells) may act together to increase the risk of PD (Parkinson’s disease) considerably,” said Ritz

The results appear in the current online edition of the European Journal of Epidemiology. Symptoms of the disease include uncontrollable body movements, drooling, impaired balance and walking, and shaking tremors among others.

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Nabeel Malik

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