Study Links Parkinson’s, Agricultural Fungicide

November 20, 2008

A new study has made a connection between Parkinson’s disease and residents in California’s San Joaquin Valley who have experienced long-term exposure to certain pesticides.

A University of California, Los Angeles study of 400 Valley residents with the neurological disease indicates a connection between Parkinson’s and a fungicide called ziram, an agricultural toxin widely used on nut and fruit trees and grapes.

Research showed the fungicide kills certain brain cells associated with Parkinson’s. Researchers say it could explain why the rate of Parkinson’s seems to be higher in the San Joaquin Valley than elsewhere in the state.

A spokeswoman for the California Department of Pesticide Regulation says it’s too early to discuss restrictions or a ban on ziram, but officials have made studying the potential link a priority.

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