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Pesticide Exposure and Increased Risk of Thyroid Problems

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Exposures to pesticides can increase risk of asthma, some forms of cancer,  mental depression, and neurological problems such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Exposures to pesticides may also increase risk of thyroid problems. Thyroid problems are very common, with 5 to 9% of US adults having some form of thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism.

A study of 16,529 women in Iowa and North Carolina married to pesticide applicators reported that 12.5% had some form of thyroid problems and 6.9% had clinical hypothyroidism.  Exposure to organochlorine pesticides (such as aldrin, chlordane, DDT and lindane), fungicides (benomyl, captan, maneb) and the fumigant methylbromide were associated with significantly higher rates of thyroid problems.

This research was published in the February 15, 2010 American Journal of Epidemiology.

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