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Hum Exp Toxicol. 2008 Sep;27(9):671-80. doi: 10.1177/0960327108094509.

Effects of pesticide exposure on the human immune system.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Toxicology, Department of Pharmacological Sciences, University of Milan, Milan, Italy. emanuela.corsini@unimi.it

Abstract

Epidemiological evidence from Western countries indicates that the prevalence of diseases associated with alterations in the immune response, such as asthma, certain autoimmune diseases and cancer, are increasing to such an extent that it cannot be attributed to improved diagnostics alone. There is some concern that this trend could be, at least, partially attributable to new or modified patterns of exposures to chemicals, including pesticides. The purpose of this article is to review the evidence on pesticide immunotoxicity in humans. Overall, the available data are inadequate to draw firm conclusions on the immunotoxic risk associated with pesticide exposure. The available studies on the effects of pesticides on the human immune system have several limitations, including limited data on exposure levels, heterogeneity of the applied methods, and difficulties in assessing the prognostic significance of observed slight changes and in the interpretation of the reported findings. Further studies are needed and preferably as prospective studies, comparing pre- and post-exposure data in the same group of subjects and including an appropriate non-exposed control group. More knowledge is required regarding the prognostic significance of the small changes observed.

PMID:
19042949
DOI:
10.1177/0960327108094509
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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