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Handling pesticides associated with greater asthma risk in farm women
Date:12/28/2007

tural risk factors for allergic and non-allergic asthma may differ.

Some legal but rarely used compounds, such as parathion, were associated with almost a three-fold increase in allergic asthma. But even some commonly used pesticides were associated with a marked increase in allergic asthma prevalence. Malathion, for example, a widely used insecticide, was associated with a 60 percent increased prevalence of allergic asthma.

Of all the compounds examined, only permethrin, a commonly used insecticide that is used in consumer items such as insect-resistant clothing to anti-malaria bed-nets, was associated with both allergic and non-allergic asthma.

This is the first study to examine pesticides and asthma in farm women, and it points the way for future research to clarify the relationship. At the end of the day, you have to remember that were looking at cross-sectional data, thus we cannot establish a temporal association between pesticide use and asthma, cautions Dr. Hoppin. There is a difference in asthma prevalence between women who did and did not use pesticides but whether it is causal or not remains to be seen.

Dr. Hoppin and her colleagues are in the midst of planning a large scale prospective study that will better evaluate the links between pesticide exposures and asthma. We want to characterize the clinical aspects of this disease, as well as lifetime exposures to agents that may either protect against asthma or increase risk, said Dr. Hoppin. We hope to start the study in 2008.


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Contact: Keely Savoie
ksavoie@thoracic.org
212-315-8620
American Thoracic Society
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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