Daily News Archive
From December 16, 2005                                                                                                           

Farmworkers Ask Consumers to Take Action Regarding Pesticide-Parkinsons link
(Beyond Pesticides, December 16, 2005) A growing body of evidence finds a link between pesticide use and Parkinson's Disease. On December 15, 2005, the United Farm Workers (UFW), AFL-CIO, asked consumers and activists across the country to email EPA Administrator Steve Johnson and ask federal scientists examine real life scenarios of pesticide exposures for everyone— especially farm workers and farmers. Below is the UFW Action Alert.

You've been there to help us with pesticide issues in the past. Now we need your help again. In a Nov. 27 story, "Hot on the Parkinson’s Trail," the Los Angeles Times reported that "scientists have amassed evidence that long-term exposure to toxic compounds, especially pesticides, can trigger the neurological disease."

According to the Times article, "scientists are 'definitely there, beyond a doubt, in showing that environmental toxicants have to be involved’ in some cases of Parkinson’s disease, said Freya Kamel an epidemiologist with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences." The article also says "scientists have conducted hundreds of animal experiments, at least 40 studies of human patients, and three of human brain tissue. They have found 'a relatively consistent relationship between pesticide exposure and Parkinson's,' british researchers reported."

The article also discussed how "more than 1 billion pounds of herbicides, insecticides and other pest-killing chemicals are used on U.S. farms and gardens and in households. Nearly all adults and children tested have traces of multiple pesticides in their bodies."

It also pointed out that "compounds with little in common, such as a fungicide and an insecticide, apparently can team up to administer a one-two punch, decimating brain cells."

This is a problem we can't ignore. Immediately e-mail the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Steve Johnson. Tell him instead of the current practice of evaluating each chemical in isolation, federal scientists should be looking at the real life scenarios of exposures for everyone— especially farm workers and farmers--which includes exposure to multiple chemicals that can produce cumulative impacts on the body and environment.

Please send your email today using the action alert on the UFW website, www.unionvoice.org/campaign/parkinsons.