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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Occupational Health' Category


23
Feb

Fatherā€™s Exposure to Toxic Chemicals in the Workplace Increases Risk of Heart Disease in Infants

(Beyond Pesticides, February 23, 2023) A fatherā€™s exposure to occupational (work-related) chemicals, including pesticides, around the time of his partnerā€™s pregnancy, has an association with a higher risk of infant congenital heart defects (CHDs), according to a Japanese study published in Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine. The prevalence of infant CHDs is one of the most common genetic (congenital) diseases worldwide. However, the etiology of CHD includes both genetic and environmental factors.Ā Heart diseasesĀ are among the leading causes of death worldwide, and heart conditions are oneĀ leading cause of disabilityĀ in the U.S. Research, including this study, demonstrates environmental pollutant exposure can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, including stroke, heart attack, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, and cardiac arrest. Considering chemical exposure exacerbates adverse disease effects, reviews like these highlight the significance of evaluating synergism between diseases and toxic chemicals to safeguard human health. Therefore, researchers are ā€œsuggesting the importance of the management of paternal occupational exposures for the prevention of infant CHDs. Further studies using biomarkers of occupational exposure are warranted.ā€ To investigate the risk of CHDs in infants, researchers in this study examine fathersā€™ work-related exposure to toxic chemical compounds, frequency of pesticide use, and synergetic mixtures of chemical compounds. […]

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18
Aug

Parentsā€™ Exposure to Pesticides Indicative of Childhood Cancer Risk among Offspring

(Beyond Pesticides, August 18, 2022) A study published inĀ Environmental ResearchĀ suggests occupational (work-related) exposure to pesticides among nonpregnant women and men may increase childhood cancer risk for offspring. Already,Ā studiesĀ findĀ lowĀ levels of pesticide exposure during pregnancy or childhood cause adverse health effects from metabolic disorders to mental and physical disabilities. However, few assess parental exposure’s impact on childhood disease risk outside critical development periods (e.g., pregnancy). Although medical advancements in disease survival are more prominent nowadays, childhood cancer remains theĀ leading cause of deathĀ from disease among children. Furthermore, childhood cancer survivors can suffer from chronic or long-term health complications that may be life-threatening. The etiology or cause of childhood cancer involves the interaction of multiple components like lifestyle and genetics. However, emerging evidence indicates that environmental contaminants like pesticides (e.g., occupational exposures, air pollution, pesticides, solvents, diet, etc.) play a role in disease etiology. Pesticide contamination is widespread in all ecosystems, and chemical compounds can accumulate in human tissues resulting in chronic health effects. Children are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of pesticide exposure as their developing bodies cannot adequately combat exposure effects. Moreover, several studies demonstrate an association between environmental or occupational pesticide exposure and the risk of childhood cancer. Considering maternal pesticide […]

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19
May

Contaminated Environment and Chemical Exposure Puts Firefighters at Elevated Risk for Adverse Heart and Brain Effects

(Beyond Pesticides, May 19, 2022) A study published in theĀ Journal of the American Heart AssociationĀ finds a correlation between the number of fires fought annually and atrial fibrillation (AF), one of the most common medical arrhythmias that increases the risk of stroke, heart failure, and other cardiovascular health issues.Ā In the firefighting occupation, firefighters can experience exposure to chemicals and particulate matter in smoke, pollutants, volatile organic compounds, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that increase cardiovascular (heart) and respiratory distress risk through oxidative stress and autonomic function disruption. However, firefighters encounter both personal and occupational (work-related) risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, making this subset of the population particularly vulnerable to heart-related fatalities. Considering firefighters live 10 to 15 years less than non-firefighters, studies like these are significant for understanding how chemical exposure contributes to health and wellness disparities. Lead author Paari Dominic, Ph.D., notes, ā€œClinicians who care for firefighters need to be aware of the increased cardiovascular risk, especially the increased risk of [AF], among this unique group of individualsā€¦ The conditions that elevate their risk further, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, lung disease and sleep apnea, should be treated aggressively. In addition, any symptoms of [AF], such as […]

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03
Feb

Study Adds to Growing Body of Research Linking Common Lung Disease (COPD) to Work-Related Pesticide Exposure

(Beyond Pesticides, February 3, 2022) A study published in the journalĀ ThoraxĀ finds lifetime occupational (work-related) exposure to pesticides increases incidents of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Although research often attributes COPD risk to genetics or cigaretteĀ smoking, theĀ increasing rate of COPD incidentsĀ indicates an external cause of disease development. Although an exact etiology (cause) of the increase in respiratory disease cases remains unknown, the connection between chronic respiratory diseases and exposure to pesticides continues to strengthen. Several circumstances, including smoking patterns, poverty, occupation, and diet, can influence disease prognosis. However, studies show that relative exposure to chemicals like pesticides can occur within each circumstance, making chemical exposure ubiquitous. Additionally, pesticide drift is an omnipresent issue impacting communities surrounding farming operations, and dust may harm humans, plants, and aquatic systems. Therefore, this review highlights the significance of evaluating the association between pesticide exposure and disease development, especially for diseases generally attributed to genetics or vices. Researchers in the study note, ā€œ[W]e found that cumulative exposure to pesticides is associated with an increased risk of COPD, with positive exposure-response trends. The unique large sample and the confirmation of our results in sensitivity analyses, in particular in never-smokers, support the validity […]

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04
Nov

45 Different Cancers Associated with Work-Related Pesticide Exposure

(Beyond Pesticide, November 4, 2021) A scientific literature analysis by theĀ Federal University of Goias, Brazil, finds occupational (work-related) exposure to agricultural pesticides increases the risk for 45 different types of cancer. This analysis assesses studies from the last decadeā€”2011 to 2020ā€”to identify cancer risk associated with occupational exposure by country, pesticide type, and methods used to diagnose disease. Many pesticides areĀ ā€œknown or probableā€Ā carcinogens (cancer-causing agents), and widespread uses only amplify chemical hazards, adversely affecting human health. However, research on cancer and pesticides lacks comprehensive information regarding human health effects associated with long-term chemical use. This study highlights the significant role that long-term research plays in identifying potential health concerns surrounding registered pesticides. The use of these xenobiotics (foreign chemical compounds) substances in agriculture are increasing. Thus, it is important those working with and around these toxicants have protection. The analysis notes, ā€œOverall, then, the results of the present study emphasize the need to evaluate overuse of pesticides and the concomitant increase in the number of cancer cases. Future research should thus include active intervention in the correct use of pesticides by farmworkers and encourage adequate training and the use of PPEs [personal protective equipment], as well as routine periodic medical […]

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05
Nov

Pesticide Exposure Increases the Risk of Developing Gene-Specific and Sporadic Parkinsonā€™s Disease Incidences

(Beyond Pesticides, November 5, 2020) Research at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) finds that pesticide exposure increases the risk of developing Parkinsonā€™s disease (PD), regardless of whether disease onset is idiopathic (spontaneous) or genetic (GBAĀ genetic risk variant). Although the exact etiology of PD remains unknown, epidemiological and toxicological research repeatedly identifies exposure to pesticides, as well as specific gene-pesticide interactions, as significant adverse risk factors that contribute to PD. Furthermore, this study, ā€œGene Variants May Affect PD Risk After Pesticide Exposure,ā€ suggests that environmental triggers like occupational exposure to pesticides can prompt PD in individuals with or without the genetic precursor. This research demonstrates the importance of assessing disease etiology concerning occupational pesticide exposure, especially if disease triggers are overwhelmingly non-hereditary. Since not all individuals genetically predisposed to the disease develop PD, with only 10 to 15 percent of PD cases being genetic, government officials need to consider alternate etiological pathways that include environmental risk factors. Study researchers note, ā€œā€˜Environmental exposures may have differential effects in different genotypesā€™ and may predispose people with PD to different symptom burden.ā€Ā  Parkinsonā€™s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease, with at least one million Americans living with PD and about […]

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07
Sep

Commentary: Letā€™s Do More Than Thank Workers on This Labor Day; Letā€™s Commit to Abolishing Pesticide Laws that Institutionalize Disproportionate Risk

(Beyond Pesticides, September 7, 2020)Ā On Labor Day during this coronavirus pandemic, it is especially appropriate that we thank all essential workersā€”but thanks are not enough. We must redouble our efforts to eliminate the racial and economic inequities in our society that contribute to disproportionate risk to the health and well-being of workers, especially people of color. As the commentary in New York Magazine by Sarah Jones states, ā€œ[T]okens of appreciation are just that: tokens, which signal nothing deeper than gratitude. That doesnā€™t pay anyoneā€™s rent.ā€ And, all our gratitude does not protect anyoneā€™s health. Nobody should have to risk their health for a job. As we as a nation recognize that systemic change is needed to fight racial and economic injustice, we are faced with questions that go to the core of our societyā€”the distribution of wealth, a livable wage, investment in and access to education and health care, and an environment that sustains life. It could be said that an environmental organization, like Beyond Pesticides, that works on environmental, health, and agriculture and land management issues should ā€œstay in its laneā€ and not delve into broader issues that address our social and economic structure. However, the events of the […]

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