Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UC Davis Study Investigates Health Effects Of Paraquat, A Herbicide Commonly Used Throughout The World

Date:
May 2, 2001
Source:
UC Davis School Of Medicine
Summary:
A popular herbicide in use in more than 130 countries in the world for weed control is the focus of an important health study conducted by physicians and researchers at UC Davis School of Medicine and Medical Center and College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A popular herbicide in use in more than 130 countries in the world for weed control is the focus of an important health study conducted by physicians and researchers at UC Davis School of Medicine and Medical Center and College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Paraquat is one of the top three herbicides in use in the world. Valued for its effectiveness, rapid decomposition in soil, and lack of a toxic residue, it is commonly used in California. It is also heavily used in Latin America, where the tropical climate intensifies the need for a quick-acting herbicide. In Costa Rica, its use is unrestricted, and individuals can purchase paraquat for use in their own gardens. Its use in the United States is restricted to only certified applicators, and several countries, including Finland, Sweden and Austria, ban its use completely.

While case reports of accidental poisonings and suicide attempts have clearly defined the toxic effects of acute exposure to paraquat, the health effects of chronic low-level exposure is not well understood.

"At high doses and without immediate medical treatment, paraquat causes severe oxidative damage in the lung which is often fatal," said Marc Schenker, professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine. "We are investigating the long-term health effects of low-level pesticide exposure in Costa Rican farm workers to determine whether these workers are at increased risk for lung injury and related disease."

A leading authority on occupational and environmental diseases and respiratory illness, Schenker aims to recruit 500 workers from coffee, banana and palm oil farms throughout Costa Rica. Workers will be asked to complete an extensive work history questionnaire and undergo pulmonary function and exercise testing.

"This study is one of the largest and most intensive to be conducted in this population," said Schenker, a physician who is internationally regarded for his work on improving the working conditions of agricultural laborers. "We hope these studies provide a more definitive answer to the question about the safety of chronic low-level paraquat exposure."

The investigators plan to begin data collection in Costa Rica in May 2001 and hope to have preliminary results in 2002. Co-investigators of the paraquat study include exposure assessment specialist Kiyoung Lee and biostatistician Laurel Beckett, both from the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, and toxicologist Bruce Hammock from College of Agriculture and Science's Department of Entomology. The two-year, $677,000 study is funded by Syngenta.

For more details about this study visit: http://wwwepm.ucdavis.edu/www/Projects/salud/Intro.htm


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by UC Davis School Of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

UC Davis School Of Medicine. "UC Davis Study Investigates Health Effects Of Paraquat, A Herbicide Commonly Used Throughout The World." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 May 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/04/010427072243.htm>.
UC Davis School Of Medicine. (2001, May 2). UC Davis Study Investigates Health Effects Of Paraquat, A Herbicide Commonly Used Throughout The World. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/04/010427072243.htm
UC Davis School Of Medicine. "UC Davis Study Investigates Health Effects Of Paraquat, A Herbicide Commonly Used Throughout The World." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/04/010427072243.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A U.S. doctor has tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, as the worst-ever outbreak continues to grow. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins