Herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides are often blamed for their negative impacts on the environment. Yet they have harmful and sometimes even deadly effects on most people, specifically farmers.
Surprisingly enough, research on the topic is still in its infancy. A new study from North Carolina University tested dozens of these products and their effects on farmer respiratory health for the very first time.
This study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, took a deeper look into the possible impact on respiratory health from 78 pesticides, 45 of which were herbicides, 25 of which were insecticides, 6 of which were fungicides, 1 of which was fumigant, and 1 of which was rodenticide.
For the study, a survey was handed out to 22,134 farmers asking them which pesticides they use, and what respiratory symptoms they’ve had in the past year. By comparing the wheezing of farmers who used particular products with those who did not, the researchers could figure out which products might be linked to those issues.
They found that 29 of the pesticides (37%) had some correlation to wheezing in farmers, meaning that farmers who use these products are more likely to exhibit wheezing respiratory symptoms than those who do not use them. In the list of 29 harmful pesticides, Syngenta’s Pruncep Caliber 90, Warfarin, Roundup, and Altrazine were found.
This is one of the first studies on the correlation between use of pesticides and farmer respiratory issues. As more studies come out, the proof that more farmers who use certain products have a higher rate of respiratory issues than those who do not use these products. Studying the effects of pesticides on human health is extremely important.
Hopefully this study can convince farmers that although the use of pesticides may seem like a cheap option, the cost it has on health is just not worth it.