"New research suggests a link between women's exposure to household insecticides -- including roach and mosquito killers -- and the autoimmune disorders rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
The scientist did not find a direct cause-and-effect relationship between insecticide exposure and the illnesses, and it's possible that the women have something else in common that accounts for their higher risk. But epidemiologist Christine Parks, lead investigator of the study, said the findings do raise a red flag.
'It's hard to envision what other factors might explain this association,' said Parks, an epidemiologist with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences who was to present the study over the weekend at the American College of Rheumatology annual meeting in Philadelphia.
Previous research has linked agricultural pesticides to higher risk of rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, two diseases in which the immune system goes haywire and begins to attack the body. Farmers, among others, appear to be vulnerable."
USA TODAY had the story October 22, 2009.