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Parkinson's and Pesticides

Wilson, Joe R.

doi: 10.1097/01.NNN.0000345694.44687.fd
Department: Letter

CEO of PermaTreat Pest Control, Inc. Fredericksburg, VA

Sitting in the waiting room of my neurologist, I had an opportunity to look over the Sept./Oct. 2008 issue of Neurology Now. Appropriately, I turned to the “Waiting Room” section and read the article entitled “New Study Links Parkinson's and Pesticides.”

Having recently celebrated 42 years in the pest-control industry (half with a national pest control firm, and the other half as the owner/operator of a regional pest control company), I can say that I have had hundreds of people working under me who handled pesticides on a daily basis. I cannot recall one single instance where any of our technicians developed Parkinson's, or had any other type of neurological problem. With worker's compensation insurance readily available, I probably would have been the first to know of any incident. Your article specifically mentioned chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion, all common pesticides used by the pest control industry.

It seems to me that if Duke University Medical Center and the University Of Miami Miller School Of Medicine had wanted to do a more thorough study they would have included people who work with pesticides on a daily basis, rather than singling out people with Parkinson's and their relatives and asking about their pesticide exposure. Could there be a tie between Parkinson's and the laundry detergents used by the subjects?

—Joe R. Wilson, CEO of PermaTreat Pest Control, Inc.

Fredericksburg, VA

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