It has been suggested that environmental toxins could be risk factors for sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SALS). We therefore analysed epidemiological data on 179 SALS cases and 179 age-, ethnicity- and sex-matched controls in Australia using self-reporting questionnaires.
SALS was associated with solvent/chemical exposure (OR = 1.92, 95% CI: 1.26-2.93), overall herbicide/pesticide exposure (OR = 1.57, 95% CI: 1.03-2.41) and industrial herbicide/pesticide exposure (OR = 5.58, 95% CI: 2.07-15.06). Exposure to herbicides/pesticides showed a dose-response effect. All positive findings were more statistically significant in males.
These findings support those from northern hemisphere studies, indicating that environmental toxins can be risk factors for SALS.