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From May 22, 2002

UK Commissions Study On Link Between Parkinson's Disease and Pesticides

Due to concerns that pesticides can cause degenerative neurological illness, UK's Advisory Committee on Pesticides is commissioning a team of expert epidemiologists to study the link between Parkinson's disease and pesticides, reports the UK Independent. The inquiry is being ordered after the Pesticides Safety Directorate, the government agency that regulates pesticides in the UK, raised questions in a recent report about the possibility that pesticides could be damaging the health of individuals who regularly handle them.

"If we were confident that there was nothing in it at all, we wouldn't be paying taxpayers' money to carry out a review. It's about being responsible about these things and looking if it's appropriate," said David Coggon, professor of occupational and environmental medicine at the Medical Research Council, to the UK Independent. "If new evidence suggests there might be a problem we have to look at it."

Parkinson's disease, a neurodegenerative disorder that turns simple movement into a battle between the brain and the nerves, has been increasingly linked to pesticide and herbicide exposure over the past couple of years. The disease most commonly occurs in people over 60 years of age and the Parkinson's Institute reports that the disease affects more than one million people in the United States alone.

The UK Independent states that the study "is likely to lead to … a ban on some chemicals."

For a copy of the article, see http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/health/story.jsp?story=295906 or contact Beyond Pesticides for more information.