Saturday, June 11, 2005

Insecticides cause neurological problems

Today's post takes a serious look at insecticides - with results from a major study released by the NIH recently.

Farmers who used agricultural insecticides had neurological problems, even when they were no longer using them. The largest study ever conducted, 18,782 North Carolina and Iowa farmers linked use of insecticides, including organophosphates and organochlorines, to reports of reoccurring headaches, fatigue, insomnia, dizziness, nausea, hand tremors, numbness, and other neurological symptoms.

DDT and some of the insecticides studied have been banned or restricted, but some are still on the market. These are available to home gardeners, although in different formulations and in lower concentrations, which may make them less hazardous, the scientists guess.

ScientistFreya Kamel says, "This research is really important because it evaluated the health effects of agricultural chemicals as they were commonly used by farmers. It's different from previous studies that focused on pesticide poisoning or high dose exposures, for example when large amounts of a chemical were accidentally spilled on the skin."

The research is part of the ongoing Agricultural Health Study funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Cancer Institute.

There really has not been enough said about the harm from these chemicals - the politics of food production is way too complex to get into here, but obviously what many believe to be true of these insecticides has been substantiated in this study.

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