Study Proves Pesticides Are Linked To Farmer Respiratory Problems

T possible negative effects of herbicides, pesticides, fungicides and often focuses on how the products affect the environment. But they have effects on people, particularly farmers, as well.

Unfortunately, research on the subject is still in its infancy, it is like a new study from North Carolina State University could try dozens of these products and their effects on farmers respiratory health the first time.


This particular study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives analyzed the impact on respiratory health specifically allergic and non-allergic wheeze of 78 pesticides (45 herbicides and growth regulators the plants, 25 insecticides, fungicides, fumigants six one, and one rodenticides). In essence, the study served as WebMD target: A questionnaire was given to 22,134 farmers asking which pesticides they use, as well as (among other things) what respiratory symptoms who have had in the past year. By comparing wheezing (both hay fever diagnosed by a doctor and not) to farmers who use products particularly those who did not, the researchers could determine which products could be linked to these issues.

And here’s what they found: 29 pesticides (37 percent) had some sort of correlation of wheezing in farmers, which means that farmers who use these products were more likely to show symptoms of wheezing than those who do not use them. The list of 29 includes some pretty well-known products :. Syngenta Princep Calibre 90 (chemical name, simazine), warfarin (a common rodenticide), Roundup (also known as glyphosate), and atrazine, among others

The study, to be fair, indicates a correlation, not a causal relationship; all we really know is that more farmers who use certain products have a higher respiratory rate than those who do not use these products problems. So it’s no direct evidence that these products cause wheezing, but it certainly points in that direction. If nothing else, the study shows that we need to know more about pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, and the ways they affect everything from bees farmers.

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