This 1996 study found that in experiments of human white blood cells (white blood cells are the back-bone of our immune system) that malathion was causing "deletions" in one section of the chromosome. In conclusion the scientists stated,

"This work provides the first evidence of an association between malathion exposure and specific mutations in human T lymphocytes."

A quick biology lesson - Genes are not just involved in passing hereditary traits. You have genes active in you at this moment that control what is happening inside every cell in your body every second of the day. There are 200 genes believed to control liver function and 200 genes believed to control immune system function. Your lymphoctes are a type of immune system cell which is extremely important in removing viruses and cancer cells from the body. The human aging process is simply a result of us losing about one-half to 1% of our genes yearly.(dogs lose over 4%). When we lose too many genes in the cells controlling one part of our health, we become sick - since the cells can't operate at high enough efficiency to do their job. It's a matter of balance - once our cells are so inefficient because of gene loss - then we too can die.. The cycle of life. The lesson to be learned from this is we do not want to expose ourselves to chemicals (such as malathion) that can accelerate gene loss in important cells which are protecting us from bacteria, viruses, etc.
Genetics Laboratory, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont
CANCER RESEARCH, 56, 2393-2399, May 15, 1996

Back to Directory NC Chemical Injury Network