• Learn About Colony Collapse Disorder and How to Protect Bees
  • Driving Near Recently Sprayed Fields Exposes People to Pesticides
  • SNAP Tour of Organic Vegetable Garden
  • Weeds Can Be Managed Without Chemical Pesticides
  • Learn About Pesticides in Foods
  • Link to SK Organic Resources
  • SNAP Display at Event
  • Learn To Manage Weeds Without Chemical Pesticides
  • Grow a Lush Garden Organically
  • Learn to Keep Insects Out of your Crops


Respiratory illness links to pesticides

also see Cancer/ links

Pesticide Exposure, Agricultural Work Associated with Chronic Lung Disease   (Beyond Pesticides, March, 16, 2021) Occupational and environmental exposure to pesticides and other contaminants in the environment increase the risk of developing a lung condition known as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), according to a meta-analysis published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports. IPF is a chronic, degenerative disease with no certain cause or cure. It is estimated to affect roughly 13 women and 20 men in 100,000 adults worldwide annually, with onset averaging age 66.   Pesticide use and agricultural work were found to have the strongest association with IPF. Pesticide exposure increased risk of IPF by 107%, whereas agricultural workers recorded an 88% increased risk.

Literature Review: Pesticides Exposure Highly Correlated with Respiratory Diseases   (Beyond Pesticides, October 15, 2020) A review of scientific literature on the correlation between respiratory diseases and pesticides exposure—published in the journal Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine (AAEM), “Influence of pesticides on respiratory pathology—a literature review”—finds that exposure to pesticides increases incidents of respiratory pathologies (i.e., asthma, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD—or chronic bronchitis). Lung cancer has a positive association with the total number of days and intensity of pesticide exposure. Prolonged exposure (over 56 days) to the insecticide chlorpyrifos more than doubles the risk of developing lung cancer. The insecticide diazinon also shows a strong correlation between exposure and lung cancer incidences. Additionally, normal to high exposure to the herbicide metolachlor and high levels of exposure to the herbicide pendimethalin increase the risk of developing lung cancer. More than 109 days of carbofuran exposure, one of the most toxic carbamate pesticides, leads to a 3-fold increase in lung cancer incidences. Intensive exposure to the herbicide dicamba, even at low levels, increases lung cancer incidence. Occupational exposure to chlorophenol-related compound (a group of pesticides contaminated with the highly toxic chemical dioxin) during the manufacturing process has a strong association with lung cancer. Chemicals with a weak but a positive association with lung cancer are malathionatrazinecoumaphosS-ethyl-N, N-dipropylthiocarbamate, alachlor, trifluralin, and chlorothalonil.   Nonoccupational exposure to pesticides from residencies near pesticide processing plants, contact with pesticide-tainted clothes and tools, and household with improper storage and use of pesticides are at greater risk of respiratory illness, including asthma (ranking first) from chronic exposure, and upper and lower airway obstruction from acute exposure...Retailers are eight-fold more likely to experience respiratory distress than the general population, especially for retailers that sell manipulated organophosphorus compounds.   The connection between common and chronic respiratory diseases and exposure to pesticides continues to strengthen, despite efforts to restrict individual chemical exposure or mitigate chemical risks using risk assessment-based policy.

Organochlorine Pesticide Exposures in the Womb Linked to Poorer Lung Function in Childhood  (Beyond Pesticides, September 20, 2018)  'Organochlorine compounds, which include the pesticide DDT, as well as electrical insulators and other industrial products, are now banned in most parts of the world. However, because they degrade very slowly, they are still present in the environment and in foods...The new study is the first to show a link with objective measures of lung strength and capacity in relation to low-level exposure to these chemicals.'

Research Shows Greenspace and Biodiversity Protect Kids from Asthma  (Beyond Pesticides, May 17, 2018)  Of concern are the pesticides used in green spaces. Includes links to  Beyond Pesticides’ brochure, Asthma, Children, and Pesticides and El Asma, los Niños y los Pesticidas: Lo que usted debe saber para proteger a su familia, and Children and Pesticides Don’t Mix.

Chronic Pesticide Exposure at Work Tied to Breathing Disorders   (Beyond Pesticides, August 3, 2017) Working in close contact with pesticides over the course of one’s lifetime increases the risk of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and other breathing disorders. Researchers found that lung disease and airway obstruction was 75% higher for those with exposure to any pesticides in their occupation (including herbicides, insecticides, fungicides), and 109% higher for those specifically reporting occupational exposure to herbicides. As part of cumulative exposure calculations, scientists determined that for every 10 years of exposure to any pesticide on the job, COPD risk increased by 12%, chronic bronchitis by 16%, chronic cough by 12%, and chronic phlegm problems increased by 13%. Chronic exposure to only herbicides resulted in a 16% increased risk of COPD and 22% risk of chronic bronchitis. Insecticide exposure alone represented a 10% increase in COPD and a 15% increase in cronic bronchitis.

78 Commonly Used Agricultural Pesticides Linked to Wheezing (Beyond Pesticides, August 10, 2016) New research connects 78 pesticides commonly used by farmers withmany adverse respiratory effects, including both allergic and non-allergic wheeze.This is one of the most comprehensive evaluations of pesticides in relation to wheeze that has been evaluated to date, finding that several commonly used pesticides in both agriculture and residential settings can cause adverse respiratory effects.“Fifty-one of the pesticides we tested in this study had never been analyzed in terms of their effects on respiratory outcomes. And some of them, like glyphosate, 2,4-D and permethrin, aren’t just used on farms. Nice graph illustrating the pesticides and effects. NOTE: the mandatory testing od pesticides is usually done orally. To my knowledge, there are no regularly mandated tests for respiratory exposure except perhaps for individual chemicals known to cause problems like fumigants which are very volatile. In 2005, when malathion was used all over for mosquito control for West Nile virus, the US EPA had requested information on respiratory toxicity but not yet received it. 

Study Links Rhinitis to Pesticide Exposure (Beyond Pesticides, December 1, 2009). “Rhinitis associated with pesticide exposure among commercial pesticide applicators in the Agricultural Health Study,” evaluated the association between rhinitis and 34 pesticides used in the past year. Five of the pesticides were significantly positively associated with current rhinitis: the herbicides 2,4-D, glyphosate and petroleum oil (inert), the insecticide diazinon and the fungicide benomyl. Diazinon and petroleum oil herbicide showed the most consistent association. The association for 2,4-D and glyphosate was limited to individuals who used both in the past year, suggesting a possible synergistic effect. (Posted in 2,4-D, Agriculture, Asthma, Benomyl, Chemicals, Chlorpyrifos, Diazinon, Disease/Health Effects, Farmworkers, Glyphosate, Inerts)