Pesticide-Induced Diseases Database

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Pesticide-Induced Diseases Database


Studies Link Range of Major Diseases to Pesticides



Washington, DC, August 18, 2010 – Links to pesticide exposure are being 

found in a growing number of studies that evaluate the causes of preventable 

diseases --including asthma, autism and learning disabilities, birth defects 

and reproductive dysfunction, diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s 

diseases, and several types of cancer. A new database, released today, 

tracks published epidemiologic and real world exposure studies. The studies 

challenge the effectiveness of risk-assessment-based regulation which is 

intended to manage adverse disease outcomes, but is criticized for allowing 

the uses of chemicals that can be replaced by green technologies and 



To capture the range of diseases linked to pesticides through epidemiologic 

studies, the national environmental and public health group Beyond 

Pesticides launched in the summer issue of its newsletter, Pesticides and 

You, the 

Pesticide-Induced Diseases Database

 to track the studies. “A read 

through the scientific literature on pesticides and major preventable diseases afflicting us in the 21st century 

suggests that one of the first responses called for is an all out effort to stop using toxic pesticides,” said Jay 

Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides. The database begins an ongoing effort by Beyond 

Pesticides to maintain this comprehensive database of the studies that the group says “supports an urgent 

need to shift to toxic-free practices and policies.” 


The group is calling for alternatives assessment in environmental rulemaking that creates a regulatory trigger 

to adopt alternatives and drive the market to go green.” Under risk assessment, we constantly play with 

‘mitigation measures’ that the Pesticide-Induced Diseases Database tells us over and over is a failed human 

experiment,” said Mr. Feldman.


The alternatives assessment approach differs most dramatically from risk assessment in rejecting uses and 

exposures deemed acceptable under risk assessment calculations, but unnecessary because of the 

availability of safer alternatives. For example, in agriculture, where the database shows clear links to pesticide 

use and multiple types of cancer, it would no longer be possible to use hazardous pesticides, as it is with risk 

assessment-based policy, when there are clearly effective organic systems with competitive yields that, in fact, 

outperform chemical-intensive agriculture in drought years. This same analysis can be applied to home and 

garden use of pesticides where households using pesticides suffer elevated rates of cancer.


Earlier this year Beyond Pesticides released its 

Organic Food: Eating with a Conscience

 guide that explains 

how foods grown with hazardous chemicals contaminate water and air, hurt biodiversity, harm farm workers, 

and kill bees, birds, fish and other wildlife even though the finished commodities, often referred to as “clean,” 

may have minimal or non-detectable residues. 


The Pesticide-Induced Diseases Database, which currently contains 383 entries of epidemiologic and 

laboratory exposure studies, will be continually updated to track the emerging findings and trends. 

View the 

database here



Pesticide-Induced Diseases Database 


View the new 

Pesticide-Induced Diseases Database

(    Do you know of studies that you think should 

be added to the database? 

Please send them to us


Beyond Pesticides - 202-543-5450 -


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