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In The News, Winter 2018 - 2019: Heavy Pesticide Exposure May Impair Sense of Smell

heavy pesticide exposure impair sense smell HPEE farmers olfactory epidemiology professor Honglei Chen DDT lindane herbicide alachlor metolachlor deficit

For the first time, an association between unusually high pesticide/herbicide exposure and olfactory impairment - a partial to complete loss of the sense of smell - has been documented among farmers. A 20-year study of 11,200 farmers found that 16 percent of them had experienced a high pesticide exposure event (HPEE), such as a having a large amount of product spilled on their body. At the end of the study, those farmers who had undergone an HPEE were 50 percent more likely to report a poor sense of smell than those who had not. In the cases where the farmers washed within three hours of the...

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