A Pesticide Connection?
Ever notice what happens to ants when sprayed with a pesticide? They crawl
around in a manic disorganized-like way until they die. At least that is how it
appears to this "back yard mechanic."
This page is to invite you to consider the pesticide connection and to share
if you have seen any relationship between pesticide exposure and psychosis in
yourself, your loved ones or friends. I have now documented unusual behavior
preceding three manic episodes shortly after
a pest control employee sprayed
Permethrin and Cypermethrin upwind at our
neighbor's house right next to Chris' bedroom where he spends a good deal of
time composing music. Though I did not make the connection then, and
therefore did not write about it, I could smell the insecticide in his room
before the episode discussed in the book starting on page 379.
At that time I
closed his window to keep out the smell. It wasn't until I discussed this
with Dr Kunin that I considered that this particular insecticide could be one
more risk factor. So far I have learned the following from my own
research and feedback from others. Please send your comments to
email@example.com if you want
them to be posted here.
|These chemicals belong to a class of pyrethroids
which are excitatory acting upon the sodium ion channels in nerve cell
membranes, " Striatal dopaminergic pathways as a target for the insecticides
permethrin and chlorpyrifos," Neurotoxicology 2001 Dec 22(6):811-7|
|According to Dr Doris Rapp, "The
pyrethroids disrupt the permeability of the nerve membranes. They can inhibit
calcium uptake in rat brain cells affecting neurotransmission."
intracellular calcium occurs in mania. ) |
|Various Google searches have shown that, among
other things, pyrethroids are associated with aggression, memory problems, and
|At low concentrations one pyrethroid,
deltamethrin, directly stimulated PKC in rats. This increased neurotransmitter
release and free Ca+2 in the brain synapse. The data supports the view that "
calcium-sensitive proteins involving synaptic transmission are the major
action targets of type II pyrethroids."
Biochem Pharmacol. 1993 Feb 9:45(3):703-10|
|A veterinarian reports that permethrin and pyrethrin insecticides
cause neuroexitability in pets. This is a common clinical poisoning seen in
veterinary offices. Cats are most often affected and usually show twitching or
strange behavior--star gazing and vocalization. |
|One study showed that troops exposed to chemicals, such as Permethrin and
Cypermethrin (pyrethroids) during the Gulf War had impaired brain functioning.
|A study with rats showed the synergistic effects of chemicals such as
pyrethroids and stress impaired fertility as well as impaired brain
A study in the Journal of Occupational Medicine assessed mortality from mental
disorders and occupational exposure to pesticides, finding a weak, but
significant relationship. |
|For the organophosphorous and
carbamate pesticides poisoning, "Blurred or dark vision, confusion, tightness
in the chest, wheezing, productive cough and pulmonary edema may occur.
Incontinence, unconsciousness, and convulsions indicate very severe
poisoning. Slow heartbeat, salivation, and tearing are common symptoms of
severe poisoning. Toxic psychosis, with manic or bizarre behavior, has led
to a misdiagnosis of acute alcoholism." Chris was exposed to a small amount
of pyrethroids, but since they affect dopamine pathways, would he be more
vulnerable to the effects? http://www.agr.gov.sk.ca/DOCS/crops/integrated_pest_management/general/pesticidesafety.asp|
|Near the bottom of this article entitled Mood
Disorders by Jeannette Y Wick, RPh, MBA, Chief Pharmacist, Commission on
Mental Health Services, District of Columbia Government, Washington, DC, in
the Supplement 1A to the Journal of the American Society of Consultant
Pharmacists 1998/ Vol 13 we learn that pesticides may actually cause mood
http://www.ascp.com/public/pubs/cc/1998/supp1a.shtml It seems
logical that for a person already predisposed to brain dysregulation, a small
amount of these products could have a powerful effect. |
A family member became psychotic following five years of regular applications
of a chlorpyrifos formulation inside and outside the family home. It was the
final fumigation that tipped the scales. Sixteen independent diagnoses in
Australia and the US diagnosed toxic encephalopathy, (SPECT scan), high levels
of solvents in the blood, defective liver detoxification/clearance etc. These
people can become more psychotic on prescribed anti-psychotics, since they are
similar in chemical composition to the prescription drugs. Pesticide poisoning
as etiology for 'mental' illness is not recognized in Australia, although MSDS
information/medical tomes often include psychosis as an outcome.
Recommend the website below for up to date information on the role pesticides
play in illness.
Appreciate your initiative in setting up this site.
AUSTRALIAN COORDINATOR MCS-GLOBAL
I have a ten year old son who has Lyme and Bipolar. Just a thought for you, I
tried treating my son's play pants with Permethrin, but after a few times
stopped because I was sure that wearing them made him more aggressive and
brought on agitated behavior. Donna
I don't know of any research but I know that the Chemical Injury
Information Network has many
archived articles on the effects of pesticides. I do have a friend who
is bipolar and he says that whenever they spray he gets manic also. I
personally get extremely fatigued when they spray, and want to sleep a lot. I
think it may have different effects on different people depending on the
chemical makeup of their body. Matthew <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One person reported a manic episode after lawn spraying and another after