Pesticides - Depression and death in Farmer's wives
Type of spiritual experience
Although the depression was associated with various forms of bad dreams, nightmares etc. the researchers completely dismissed the most important finding - the death or loss of 10,639 wives during follow-up. [Note that they also ignored the incidence of diabetes].
Those that didn't have depression were dead, now that is a statistically significant finding.
16,893 wives to start with, 10,639 wives 17 years later.
Clearly death is classified as a spiritual experience, but I don't have a specific category for it, because dead people cannot tell their tale.
In general, a pesticide is defined as a chemical or biological agent (such as a virus, bacterium, antimicrobial, or disinfectant) that deters, incapacitates, kills, or otherwise discourages anything living on the planet, that a human being considers a 'pest' because the human being has other objectives to that of the living creature.
Target creatures can include insects, plants in an unwanted places - 'weeds', mollusks, birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, nematodes (roundworms), and microbes. The target creature may actually be beneficial, but is simply annoyingly present where it is not wanted - like the worms in lawns and golf courses - or the creature may simply be a victim and not a target - like bees - because the targeting is unspecific.
Any creature that appears to a human being to destroy property, or cause a 'nuisance', or spread disease, might be a target. Pesticides are a form of biological weapon against Nature as a whole.
As human beings are also living creatures, there is the high, but generally uninvestigated possibility, that all pesticides in the end are potentially toxic to humans and 'other desired species', like your beloved dog. Many pesticides leach into groundwater and thus enter water supplies, they can also affect fish which are then eaten.
Where pesticides are sprayed on agricultural crops, despite assurances from chemists and scientists, they may also affect humans. As research into adverse effects covers only immediate or very short term effects, the long term effects are not monitored. Via the wind, the sprays may also affect pastureland on which animals due to be consumed are grazing.
According to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, 9 of the 12 most dangerous and persistent organic chemicals are organochlorine pesticides.
A description of the experience
Environ Res. 2013 Oct;126:31-42. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2013.06.001. Epub 2013 Aug 2.
Pesticide exposure and self-reported incident depression among wives in the Agricultural Health Study.
Beard JD1, Hoppin JA, Richards M, Alavanja MC, Blair A, Sandler DP, Kamel F.
Depression in women is a public health problem. Studies have reported positive associations between pesticides and depression, but few studies were prospective or presented results for women separately.
We evaluated associations between pesticide exposure and incident depression among farmers' wives in the Agricultural Health Study, a prospective cohort study in Iowa and North Carolina.
We used data on 16,893 wives who did not report physician-diagnosed depression at enrollment (1993-1997) and who completed a follow-up telephone interview (2005-2010). Among these wives, 1054 reported physician diagnoses of depression at follow-up. We collected information on potential confounders and on ever use of any pesticide, 11 functional and chemical classes of pesticides, and 50 specific pesticides by wives and their husbands via self-administered questionnaires at enrollment. We used inverse probability weighting to adjust for potential confounders and to account for possible selection bias induced by the death or loss of 10,639 wives during follow-up. We used log-binomial regression models to estimate risk ratios and 95% confidence intervals.
After weighting for age at enrollment, state of residence, education level, diabetes diagnosis, and drop out, wives' incident depression was positively associated with diagnosed pesticide poisoning, but was not associated with ever using any pesticide. Use of individual pesticides or functional or chemical classes of pesticides was generally not associated with wives' depression. Among wives who never used pesticides, husbands' ever use of individual pesticides or functional or chemical classes of pesticides was generally not associated with wives' incident depression.
Our study adds further evidence that high level pesticide exposure, such as pesticide poisoning, is associated with increased risk of depression and sets a lower bound on the level of exposure related to depression, thereby providing reassurance that the moderate levels of pesticide exposure experienced by farmers' wives likely do not increase risk.