Friday, June 6, 2008

Pesticides and Diabetes..... and Golf!

Earlier this week, the National Institutes for Environmental Health Science (NIEHS) released new results from the Agricultural Health Study showing that applying some pesticides can increase a person's risk of developing diabetes. From the June 4th press release:

"(...) Researchers compared the pesticide use and other potential risk factors reported by the 1,171 [licensed pesticides] applicators who developed diabetes since enrolling in the [Agricultural Health] study to those who did not develop diabetes. Among the 50 different pesticides the researchers looked at, they found seven specific pesticides — aldrin, chlordane, heptachlor, dichlorvos, trichlorfon, alachlor and cynazine - that increased the likelihood of diabetes among study participants who had ever been exposed to any of these pesticides, and an even greater risk as cumulative days of lifetime exposure increased.
All seven pesticides are chlorinated compounds, including two herbicides, three organochlorine insecticides and two organophosphate pesticides. (...)"

The Agricultural Health Study is a long-term study of health outcomes among about 90,000 pesticide applicators and their families in North Carolina and Iowa.

One of the higher risk chemicals identified in this study, trichlorfon, is commonly used on golf course turf! Check out this Golf and the Environment feature from Beyond Pesticides for more information about chemicals used on golf courses, and safer alternatives.

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