Pesticide spraying and health effects.
Persons who are at increased risk for symptom exacerbation from pesticide spraying such as that used for West Nile virus control include individuals with migraines, chronic sinus problems, asthma, reactive airway disease, autoimmune diseases (many of which are exacerbated by pesticide exposure), and conventional allergies (Kipen et al. 1994). There is increased respiratory inflammation with conventional allergies, and pesticides more readily enter the body because the barrier function of the respiratory tract is further compromised. In addition, Karpati et al. (2004) failed to take note of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) final report "Principles of Neurotoxicity Risk Assessment" (U.S. EPA 1994). This document confirmed the lack of a blood-brain barrier between the nose and the brain, so that pesticides readily enter the body through the nose and pass directly to the brain. This report further confirmed the unusual vulnerability of the brain to neurotoxicants: pesticides are lipophilic and therefore seek out lipid tissue such as the brain, and because the brain has unusually long neurons, repair of damage in the neurons occurs much less readily than in other body cells.
Other groups at increased risk of pesticides are those with chronic obstructive lung disease, toxic encephalopathy, and neural degenerative diseases. Pyrethroid pesticides are significant neurotoxins (Eells et al. 1992; McDaniel and Moser 1993; Tippe 1993; Vijverberg and van den Bercken 1990), and because they are increasingly replacing organophosphates, they now account for a large proportion of the pesticide-induced chronic illness among my patients. Emergency room visits are merely the tip of the iceberg, and patients with many of these disorders usually avoid the emergency room. Thus, the use of emergency rooms is not a sensitive indicator of body damage from pesticides.
In my experience, the use of nebulized glutathione, the major antioxidant and major detoxifying agent of the body (Klaassen et al. 1986), when combined with lipoic acid, helps to improve an individual's ability to detoxify (Packer et al. 1995); lipoic acid reactivates glutathione in lipid- and water-based tissues. Also, nebulized glutathione combined with adequate buffered vitamin C reactivates glutathione in water-based tissues.
The author declares she has no competing financial interests.
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Karpati AM, Perrin MC, Matte T, Leighton J, Schwartz J, Barr RG. 2004. Pesticide spraying for West Nile virus control and emergency department asthma visits in New York City, 2000. Environ Health Perspect 112:1183-1187.
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Klaassen CD, ed. 2001. Casarett and Doull's Toxicology: The Basic Science of Poisons, 6th ed. New York:McGraw-Hill.
McDaniel KL, Moser VC. 1993. Utility of neurobehavioral screening battery for differentiating the effects of two pyrethroids, permethrin and cypermethrin. Neurotoxicol Teratol 15(2):71-83.
Packer L, Witt EH, Tritschler HJ. 1995. Alpha-lipoic acid as a biological antioxidant. Free Rad Biol Med 19:227-250.
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U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). 1994. Principles of neurotoxicity risk assessment. Fed Reg 42360-12404.
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Occupational and Environmental Health
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|Publication:||Environmental Health Perspectives|
|Date:||Mar 1, 2005|
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