Insecticides have disturbing and disrupting effects on human health. This is the conclusion reached by researchers at the University of Buffalo in the United States. They found that carbaryl, the 3rd most widely used insecticide in the US, and carborufan, which has been banned since 2009 but is still used in many countries, are structurally similar to melatonin, a brain hormone that regulates our sleep and wakefulness.
“By directly interacting with melatonin receptors in the brain and peripheral tissues, environmental chemicals, such as carbaryl, may disrupt key physiological processes leading to misaligned circadian rhythms, sleep patterns, and altered metabolic functions, increasing the risk for chronic diseases such as diabetes and metabolic disorders,” said Margarita Dubocovich, the study’s senior author and SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology.
This research is part of a larger project entitled Chem2Risk, a computerized database that will review the health risks posed by environmental chemicals. In the meantime, choosing organic seems like a good idea!