Pesticide exposure may lead to depression


In a long-term study of pesticide applicators (1993–1997) in Iowa and North Carolina 534 applicators reported physician-diagnosed depression while 17,051 controls had never been diagnosed with depression and had not felt depressed more than once a week during the previous year. Exposure was ranked into low (less than 226 days over their lifetime), intermediate (226–752 days) and high (more than 752 days). Acute high intensity exposure and physician-diagnosed pesticide poisoning were also taken into account in the study.
Statistical analysis of the results suggested that both acute high-intensity exposure and cumulative life-time exposure may contribute to depression.

Depression and Pesticide Exposure among Private Pesticide Applicators. Environmental Health Perspectives 2008, 116:1713-1719.
Courtesy of Pesticide Action Network

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First Published in June 2009

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