GIS was key in confirming the impact of exposure to chemicals used in farming to the development of Parkinson’s disease. A study in 2009 was conducted by researchers from UCLA found a link between Parkinson’s disease and two chemicals commonly sprayed on crops (the fungicide maneb and the herbicide paraquat) for people who simply lived near where farm fields were sprayed. Researchers found the risk for Parkinson’s disease for these people increased by 75 percent.
Now a follow-up study implicated a third pesticide, ziram, in the pathology of Parkinson’s disease, looking just at whether people lived near fields that were sprayed and where people worked. The combined exposure to ziram and paraquat alone was associated with an 80 percent increase in risk for Parkinson’s disease. The current online edition of the European Journal of Epidemiology published the results.
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Sachiye Day, VERTICES intern. firstname.lastname@example.org