Last week, I blogged about the latest study that links pesticide exposure in children to ADHD. Now, another study has linked repeated pesticide exposure in adults with an increase in the risk of dementia (Alzheimer’s Disease)! The study, posted in the May 2010 issue of 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. It is known that this specific enzyme declines in those with Alzheimer’s Disease which 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 common sense things to do especially if AD 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 to a pesticide used on golf course turf!
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.
Anyone heard of a green golf course community?
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist