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High Rates of Suicide, Depression Linked to Farmers' Use of Pesticides

Posted on October 9, 2019 at 11:30 AM

There is growing evidence that long-term pesticide use is linked to to alterations in farmers' mental health....... No one knows what triggered Peters’ sudden shift in mood and behavior. But since her husband’s death, Ginnie Peters has been on a mission to not only raise suicide awareness in farm families but also draw attention to the growing evidence that pesticides may alter farmers’ mental health.


“These chemicals that farmers use, look what they do to an insect. It ruins their nervous system,” Peters said. “What is it doing to the farmer?”


Farming is a stressful job – uncontrollable weather, physical demands and economic woes intertwine with a personal responsibility for land that often is passed down through generations. But experts say that some of the chemicals used to control pests may make matters worse by changing farmers’ brain chemistry.


Recent research has linked long-term use of pesticides to higher rates of depression and suicide. Evidence also suggests that pesticide poisoning – a heavy dose in a short amount of time – doubles the risk of depression..... Full Article: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/high-rates-of-suicide-depression-linked-to-farmers-use-of-pesticides/

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