Three More Pesticides Linked to Higher Risk of Parkinson’s Disease: What You Need to Know

New study by the United States reveals three more pesticides greatly linked to increased risk of Parkinson's Disease.

New study finds three additional pesticides strongly associated with increased risk of Parkinson’s disease.

Three more pesticides commonly used in the United States have now been linked to heightened Parkinson’s risk.

Three more pesticides commonly used in the United States have now been linked to heightened Parkinson’s risk. This neurological disorder has been growing rapidly, and while the causes remain unclear, researchers have been investigating the potential impact of toxic chemicals on neurons in the brain affected by Parkinson’s since the 1980s. Unfortunately, many pesticides and herbicides known to pose a risk are still in use.

The latest research, which will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 76th Annual Meeting, reveals a connection between 14 pesticides and an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease. Of these pesticides, three in particular—simazine, lindane, and atrazine—demonstrated the strongest correlation with higher risk.

Living in counties with the highest use of these pesticides resulted in a 36% increased risk of Parkinson’s disease for simazine, and a 31% and 25% increased risk for atrazine and lindane, respectively. It is worth noting that these pesticides are restricted in their use in the European Union and United Kingdom.

Determining the exact causation between pesticide use and Parkinson’s disease has proven challenging. Exposure to these chemicals can occur through multiple pathways such as inhalation or ingestion, making it difficult to pinpoint the specific cause of an individual’s Parkinson’s disease. Scientists are conducting ongoing studies to gather more accurate data on the impact of pesticide exposure.

Exploring the Causes of Parkinson’s Disease

The development of Parkinson’s disease is multifactorial. One theory suggests that the accumulation of a peptide called alpha-synuclein in the substantia nigra, the part of the brain responsible for motor control, leads to the condition. These peptide accumulations, known as Lewy bodies, damage neurons and hinder the production of dopamine—a neurotransmitter essential for brain signaling.

Other potential causes of Parkinson’s disease include genetic inheritance, mitochondrial dysfunction, and exposure to environmental toxins like pesticides and herbicides. Mounting evidence supports the notion that pesticide use has a dose-dependent effect on Parkinson’s disease risk.

However, pinpointing the contribution of individual pesticides to the development of Parkinson’s disease is challenging due to the multitude of factors that influence exposure. The burden of proof regarding the safety of these chemicals should rest on the companies producing them, rather than on researchers.

Who is Most at Risk from Pesticide Use?

Those actively working with pesticides and individuals living in close proximity to farmland where these compounds are used are most likely to be at risk. Exposure to these chemicals can occur through inhalation, ingestion, or contact with contaminated substances. Additionally, there is a concern that these pesticides can enter the food chain and contaminate everyday items, such as red wine.

It’s important to note that further research and higher-resolution exposure data are needed to establish stronger links between pesticide use and Parkinson’s disease risk. However, these findings emphasize the importance of raising awareness about the potential dangers associated with pesticide exposure and encouraging further regulations to protect public health.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Are there any alternative treatments or preventive measures that can reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease?

While there is no definitive cure for Parkinson’s disease, certain lifestyle factors and dietary choices may help reduce the risk or slow its progression. Engaging in regular physical activity, maintaining a balanced diet rich in antioxidants, and avoiding exposure to environmental toxins can contribute to overall brain health. Additionally, deep brain stimulation and certain medications can help manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Q: Can Parkinson’s disease be genetically inherited?

Yes, in some cases, Parkinson’s disease can be genetically inherited. Mutations in certain genes, such as the LRRK2 and SNCA genes, have been identified as potential genetic risk factors for the disease. However, it’s important to note that not all cases of Parkinson’s disease are caused by genetic factors, and the exact interplay between genes and environmental factors remains complex and multifaceted.

Q: Are there any ongoing debates in the scientific community regarding the link between pesticides and Parkinson’s disease?

There is ongoing scientific debate regarding the extent of the relationship between pesticide exposure and Parkinson’s disease. While numerous studies have shown a correlation, determining causation and the specific role of individual pesticides remains a challenge. Additionally, debates exist concerning the level of acceptable pesticide exposure and the responsibility of companies to prove the safety of their chemicals. Robust research and continued investigation are essential for a comprehensive understanding of this complex relationship.

Q: Can individuals reduce their pesticide exposure on a day-to-day basis?

Yes, individuals can take steps to reduce their exposure to pesticides. Choosing organic fruits and vegetables, washing produce thoroughly, and using natural pest control methods are effective ways to minimize pesticide intake. Additionally, using personal protective equipment when working with or around pesticides, such as gloves and masks, can help reduce direct contact and inhalation.


The link between pesticide use and the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease is an ongoing area of research and debate. While scientists have identified connections between certain pesticides and higher Parkinson’s disease risk, further studies are needed to establish stronger links and inform public health policies. Awareness of the potential dangers associated with pesticide exposure is crucial in promoting a healthier future. By implementing precautionary measures, individuals and communities can take steps to minimize their risk and protect their well-being.