Los Angeles – Exposure to a pesticide that was banned in 2001 may be linked to Parkinson’s disease, suggesting pesticides may have long-lasting negative effects, according to a study from the University of California, Los Angeles.
The pesticide benomyl was commonly used for three decades and then banned after studies suggested it could lead to tumors, brain malfunctions and other health problems.
For this recent study, researchers tested benomyl on cell structures and found it damaged dopaminergic neurons. Loss of these neurons is associated with Parkinson’s disease, the study abstract states.
Noting that studies have shown higher rates of Parkinson’s among farmers and rural populations, the researchers said this study supports the hypothesis that pesticides contribute to the development of the disease.
The study was published online Dec. 24 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.