Pesticide Exposure, Military Service Linked To Increased Risk of ALS: Study

Individuals who are persistently exposed to environmental pollutants, such as toxic pesticides, may face a higher risk of developing Lou Gehrig’s disease, or ALS, according to the findings of new research. 

In a study published this week in the medical journal JAMA Neurology, researchers tested participants’ blood for environmental pollutants, including pesticides, flame retardants and other toxic chemicals, and found those with high levels of certain chemicals and those who were in the military were more likely to also have the rapidly progressive and fatal neurological disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

University of Michigan researchers conducted a case-control study involving 156 individuals with ALS and compared them to 128 controls, taking blood samples and surveying their exposure to chemicals and environmental pollutants, including organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and brominated flame retardants (BFRs)..

Did You Know?

Millions of Philips CPAP Machines Recalled

Philips DreamStation, CPAP and BiPAP machines sold in recent years may pose a risk of cancer, lung damage and other injuries.

Learn More

Participants who reported cumulative chemical exposure to two types of OCPs, pentachlorobenzene and cis-chlordane, two types of PCBs, PCB 175 and 202, and polybrominated diphenyl ether had increased risk of having ALS.

Those with high exposures to the chemicals during their work history overall and residential or work history 10 to 30 years ago had increased risk of having ALS.

“We report that service in the US military is statistically or marginally significant in multiple exposure windows, agreeing with reports that military personnel are high-risk populations for ALS. While triggers remain unknown, suspected risk factors include environmental exposures, multiple vaccinations, physical activity, and traumatic injury,” the researchers said of their findings. “Similar to our initial report of survey data, we again found associations of ALS with reported occupational pesticide use and lower educational attainment.”

ALS is a degenerative disease where nerve cells break down over time, affecting a person’s ability to chew, swallow, speak and breathe. The condition affects about 20,000 people each year in the U.S. Recently, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge went viral helping to raise awareness for the disease and raised $115 million for research toward the cure.

Past research has shown a link between chemical exposure and ALS risk. Researchers say the chemicals in pesticides and other toxic substances may affect the way the nerves function; but more research is needed to determine the true effect chemical exposure has on ALS.

3 Comments

  • chantelMay 14, 2023 at 3:20 am

    I don't understand these results. All of the recent studies show obesity and type 2 diabetes as reducing risk for ALS. But Akkermansia  is thought to help ameliorate obesity and type 2 diabetes. Nicotinamide gives people a lot of energy so it makes sense that it would be linked with increased metabolism. But it seems many ALS patients have a problem with increased metabolism. I just wonder how if [Show More]I don't understand these results. All of the recent studies show obesity and type 2 diabetes as reducing risk for ALS. But Akkermansia  is thought to help ameliorate obesity and type 2 diabetes. Nicotinamide gives people a lot of energy so it makes sense that it would be linked with increased metabolism. But it seems many ALS patients have a problem with increased metabolism. I just wonder how if it is really working the way they are guessing and i'm given you 100% that this(healthmedlab@gmail.com) have cure for ALS, they cure my uncle who was 78 years of age, please try to contact them and they cure so much disease with pure herbal herbs  Websites:http://healthmedlab.weebly.com

  • SamJune 29, 2022 at 7:03 pm

    My Mother is suffering with ALS, it’s an awful disease that eats you from the outside in. She had a career as a civilian sailor for 14yrs before being diagnosed just 1yr ago. This has turn our life upside down. I do believe her civilian military service is the cause as she was exposed to chemicals, toxic substances, as well as vaccinations without knowledge it would later be a death sentence.

  • peggyRAugust 10, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    My Wife was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) when she was 72 years old 4 years ago. The Rilutek (riluzole) did very little to help her. The medical team did even less. Her decline was rapid and devastating. Her arms weakened first, then her hands and legs. Last year, a family friend told us about Doctor Hazim Usman and this successful ALS TREATMENT, we contact him through his email addres[Show More]My Wife was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) when she was 72 years old 4 years ago. The Rilutek (riluzole) did very little to help her. The medical team did even less. Her decline was rapid and devastating. Her arms weakened first, then her hands and legs. Last year, a family friend told us about Doctor Hazim Usman and this successful ALS TREATMENT, we contact him through his email address (usmandrhazim@gmail.com) and ordered this ALS Formula, i am happy to report the treatment effectively treated and reversed her Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), most of the symptoms stopped, she is able to walk and eat well, sleep well and exercise regularly., she is pretty active now and her attitude is extremely positive.

Share Your Comments

I authorize the above comments be posted on this page*

Want your comments reviewed by a lawyer?

To have an attorney review your comments and contact you about a potential case, provide your contact information below. This will not be published.

NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

More Top Stories