Herbicides responsible for farmer depression?

July 2013

A study of more than 700 French farmers and farmworkers found that those who used herbicides were more likely to be treated for depression than were those who avoided the stuff.

When the researchers took into account factors linked with depression, such as age and cigarette smoking, they determined that those farmers exposed to weedkillers were nearly two and a half times as likely to have had depression.

Furthermore, farmers who had greater exposure – either more hours or longer years using herbicides – also had a greater chance of having depression than farmers who had used weedkillers less.

The researchers can’t say whether chemicals in the weedkillers actually caused the depression. More work would be needed to make that link.

The study, which was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, states: »The possibility that environmental contaminants could affect psychological health has been generally underappreciated. Herbicide exposure in particular has received little research attention. If true, our findings have important public health implications for agricultural workers given the tremendous public health burden of depression and the fact that herbicides are widely used in agriculture and landscape management. In the United States, herbicides make up about 65% of all agricultural pesticide use.«

Marc Weisskopf, the study’s lead author and an associate professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, underlined that the new research »raises concerns that need to be looked into more fully« and is a reminder that »we should not be ignoring herbicides« when considering pesticide hazards.

Pesticide Exposure and Depression Among Agricultural Workers in France

All news in this category

Every cloud has a silver lining – the future of Steiner Schools in England

Many Steiner schools in England have come in for serious criticism of their practices in recent inspections by the schools inspectorate Ofsted.... [more]

Teheran: First International Congress on Education and Health

The University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences in Tehran organized a congress from 19 to 21 June 2018 with many contributions from... [more]

Hyderabad/India: Waldorf is booming

Waldorf Education is very popular in India – applications to the seven schools and more than 25 kindergartens are constantly increasing. No wonder.  [more]

São Paolo: teacher training center becomes a university

The teacher training center in São Paolo has been around for 40 years. Many Brazilian Waldorf teachers are trained here (sometimes also teachers from... [more]

Domestic report: The Netherlands

The first Waldorf school was founded in 1923 in The Hague. Amsterdam and Zeist followed in 1933. In the 1970s there was a strong growth in the number... [more]

Domestic report: Italy

While the number and distribution of Waldorf Steiner schools and kindergartens in Italy has not changed noticeably in the last years, there has been... [more]

Transforming Ownership to Create a Better Economy

Private ownership of companies drives our economic system but it has also created corporations that put profit above everything else, a divided... [more]

Why write? Penmanship for the 21st Century

What is the future of writing in the digital age, and why does it matter? In this surprising talk, Master Penman Jake Weidmann explores the... [more]

Polyhedric educational experiences

The main focus of this video is the recent development of the upper classes of the Scuola Novalis. The Libera Scuola Steiner-Waldorf “Novalis” is... [more]

Having 28 daughters. Waldorf Education in India

An interview with Manorama Kamineni, Sloka Waldorf School Hyderabad. [more]

Displaying results 1 to 10 out of 121

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

Page 6

Page 7

Next >

Follow