Soil pollution may lead to heart disease, new study reveals

July 01, 2022

“Soil contamination is a less visible danger to human health than dirty air,” says study author Münzel

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A soybean field in Argentina (Cordoba province) is treated with glyphosate, a possibly carcinogenic herbicide according to WHO. — AFP/File

Researchers from Germany found a strong connection between soil pollution and heart disease, which is most likely caused by pesticides and heavy metals left in the ground.

The study also found a link between high lead levels and heart problems such as coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke among women and people with diabetes.

“Soil contamination is a less visible danger to human health than dirty air,” said study author Professor Thomas Münzel of the University Medical Center Mainz in a media release.

“But evidence is mounting that pollutants in soil may damage cardiovascular health through a number of mechanisms including inflammation and disrupting the body’s natural clock.”

Study authors found that people in Japan were 21% more likely to be hospitalised on days when desert dust from China and Mongolia was in the air, according to Study Finds.

People working in the agricultural and chemical industry are at the highest risk of heart disease, but the average person can easily consume pesticides from contaminated food, soil and water.

To conduct the study, scientists analysed existing studies, which revealed a link between pesticides and the risk of heart disease.

The study was published in the journal Cardiovascular Research.

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