Alert, health-conscious parents are aware of the disturbing scientific link between pesticide exposure in children to ADHD. Now, another study has linked repeated pesticide exposure in adults with an increase in the risk of dementia.
The study, posted in the peer-reviewed journal Neurology, is an observational study and further study is needed to determine if it is a true causal link.
It is already known that organophosphates and organochlorines pesticides inhibit an enzyme (acetylcholine) at the specialized junctions (synapses) in the nervous system.
It is possible that the effects are long-lasting after repeated exposure to these chemicals.
The age-related decline of this specific enzyme in those with Alzheimer’s Disease could be the reason for the association with occupational exposure to pesticides.
Given the skyrocketing cases of Alzheimer’s Disease in the elderly as 115 million people are predicted to have AD by the year 2050, it seems prudent to limit exposure to pesticides in any way possible.
Eating organic produce, using green pesticides in your own yard and never allowing pesticides to be sprayed inside your home all seem to be very commonsense things to do especially if dementia runs in your family.
The Worst Abusers of Pesticides: Golf Courses
One of my favorite sports is golf, but of course, golf courses are one of the biggest users of pesticides. I’ve often said that despite my great love for this sport I would never live on or near a golf course due to the constant exposure to pesticide residues.
Imagine opening your windows on a nice day just after the course has been sprayed!
Incidentally, pesticides have also been linked to an eye-popping 85-250% increase in diabetes. In particular, a pesticide used on golf course turf is a primary culprit.
In recent decades, golf course communities have become a favorite for retirees – those most vulnerable to the ravages of dementia and diabetes.
It seems that relocating to a golf course community to spend your golden years may not be the wisest choice after all.
Has anyone heard of a green golf course community?
I wanted to ask you for ideas about pest control. We live in an apartment in NC and are having a roach problem (we’ve been killing 20, mostly babies per day–they are going wild in our kitchen and dining room at night). I don’t want to have our apartment sprayed with toxic pesticides especially because I have a 1 yr old and 3 yr old. I guess I need a pep talk from another natural mama about why I should not spray and some ideas of alternatives. I spray down the kitchen and dining area with an orange oil spray every morning and night to keep things clean and the orange oil is supposed to be a natural repellent. I also put boric acid in the sink before going to bed. I’m sure you know from living in the South how bad roaches can be! Any other tips? I am feeling a lot of pressure from friends and family to spray. One friend almost pleaded with me “for the sake of my family” to get the place sprayed by a professional! Maybe you could write a post about home pest control sometime if you have not written on that already.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
Oh my!!! Erin, you just reminded me of a post I need to write. We haven’t had any toxic pest chemicals sprayed in or around our home in YEARS and we have no roach/pest problem whatsoever and we are in very very buggy Florida. Please watch this week .. I will write a post about this asap.
Thanks Sarah! I’ll be looking for that post!
The Cliffs Communities near Greenville, SC has been working with Clemson University since 2007 to provide "environmentally enhancing, ecologically complementary golf course and green space management and maintenance practices.
THANK YOU so MUCH for posting this info Sarah!
I care for a very dear 84 year old man who suffers from both dementia and type 2 diabetes. I have had a hard time justifying to the family the need for an increased food budget for more then environmental reasons… now I can show them concrete evidence that no it is NOT OK to buy some things non organic for Dad to eat because "he likes bananas and they have to be imported from Southern Countries anyhow which takes up fuel anyway…" etc etc.