Are weed killers linked to depression in farmers?

38By Kerry Grens
MSN News — Farmers who used weed killers were more than twice as likely to be treated for depression than farmers who didn’t use the chemicals in a new study from France.

Earlier research on depression and pesticides has focused on insecticides, particularly organophosphates, which are known to be toxic to nerve cells, said Marc Weisskopf, the study’s lead author and an associate professor at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Weisskopf said results of the study “suggest we should not be ignoring herbicides just because they’re targeting plants.”

Monocrotophos, the insecticide that killed 23 school children in India this month, is an organophosphate, for example.

The use of pesticides has also been linked to Parkinson’s disease among farmers.

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