Exposure to pesticidal chemical sprays doubles the risk of developing asthma, researchers have found.
In the first study of its kind, scientists discovered adults who come into contact with pesticides are at a higher risk of developing respiratory problems. The findings will further heighten concerns about the impact of chemical sprays on food and the proximity of schools and homes to farms where they are used.
Last week, an official report showed 2 per cent of food sold in Britain contains illegal levels of chemical pesticides. Traces were also found in a third of fruit, vegetables, milk and meat.
Five million Britons suffer from asthma and the number is growing. The condition afflicts nearly a million children, around one in ten.
Past studies have linked asthma to second-hand tobacco smoke, poor diet and obesity. Traffic fumes and smoke have also been shown to worsen symptoms.
The study of 20,000 American farmers was presented yesterday at the European Respiratory Society's annual congress in Stockholm.
Source - Daily Mail