Are Polio and Whooping Cough Caused By Pesticides?


Vaccine advocates love to point out that the recent trend in not vaccinating is responsible for causing outbreaks of deadly diseases like polio and whooping cough (pertussis).

But could there be something else at play? Like pesticides?

Compelling evidence seems to suggest that there is a correlation between the spraying of pesticides and the outbreak of diseases such as polio and pertussis.

A suggested correlation exists when you look at the data that compares pesticide use during World War II in the 1950s and the polio epidemic that occurred simultaneously. Generally, as pesticides were used were often and became widespread, the incidences of polio increased.

Pesticides Break Down Natural Immunities to Polio

It's routinely denied, however, that poisons that were in heavy use during this period such as DDT, malathion, TEPP, heptachlor and others have any causal connection with the outbreak of polio.

However, studies as early as 1966 have shown that hosts who are exposed in the chemicals used to spray pesticides have increased numbers of viral infections. (source)

Check out this graph showing the correlation between spraying of pesticides and polio:

Polio and Pesticides
Pesticide Production and Incidence of Polio

In the 1966 study, titled, Studies of Biologically Active Agents in Cells and Tissue Cultures, Janis Gabliks writes:

“As it is recognized that residues of some agricultural insecticides persist in the body and that cells are continuously exposed to their metabolites, we investigated the possibility that these chemicals may alter certain physiological activities of cells and subsequently influence the susceptibility of hosts to virus infections.”

Many vaccines still contain Triton X-100. Tween 20, Tween 80 and Nonoxyenol — chemicals that are used to spray pesticides. [source]

It's also very interesting to notice from the graph above the suggested strong correlation between an increase in the use of pesticides such as DDT, dieldrin, heptachlor and related chemicals and the worst polio epidemic to occur in the history of the United States.

The Historical Sequence Tells a Startling Story

The history is compelling. Incidences of polio dropped radically before the vaccine was introduced in they years ranging from 1953 to 1957. The vaccine, introduced in 1957, was not licenced until 1962. [source]

Graphs for whooping cough show a surprisingly similar trend, as well as for other major diseases. The notion that vaccines cured pertussis (whooping cough) or polio doesn't follow from the facts. These major diseases were declining before vaccines were introduced.

Recently, we have started to see outbreaks of these diseases (whooping cough, measles, polio, etc.) and they are most commonly occurring (a) among vaccinated children (b) in agricultural areas and (c) during the summer when pesticides are sprayed.

According to Jim West:

In June, 2010, pertussis spiked in California. June-Aug is the season for pertussis epidemics, which is also the season for pesticide spray programs, quarantines, and peak outdoor air pollution.


Pertussis Outbreaks in California in 2010

What Do You Think?

Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Photo Credits: Creative Commons

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20 thoughts on “Are Polio and Whooping Cough Caused By Pesticides?

  1. If this was true there would be greatest incidence of polio and pertussis among agricultural labourers and cropdusting pilots etc., where the toxicity cases were concentrated. If these are persistent toxins, as they are, why does the incidence of polio drop as soon as their use ceases? They accumulate in the food chain after all, are still there now.
    My family had pertussis recently and it is VERY contagious. The bacteria doesn’t have preferences – if you’re exposed, you catch it.
    Vaccinated or not.

    1. That is not true. We spent a weekend with a family who was in the contagious period of pertussis. A few days later, some of us spent the day with a different family who had members who were also in the contagious period. (Not everyone in their family came down with it.) None of us ever got it despite sharing food, being in close contact, etc. There was no question of exposure. Mainstream medicine does say it is very contagious but also says you can be exposed and NOT get it. If it were as simple as get exposed and get it, we would see much higher rates of the illness. None of either family’s close friends came down with the illness either.
      It is not about the bacteria. It is about terrain, or the susceptibility of the person at the time of exposure.

      1. It depends (like everything else)on how strong your immune system is. All 7 of my kids got pertussis, but two had it very bad, three had hardly any symptoms and two were in the middle. Same with Chicken pox and mumps. None are vaccinated, I am but still got a mild case of pertussis and a really annoying case of mumps.

      2. Pertussis lasts for a long time, but is only infectuous for a week or so. During that window, the infection rate was high and transmission was obvious. You may have missed the infectuous period. You can be exposed and immune to anything, and there are many potential immunosuppressive factors, also heightened immunity can mean more harmful symptoms if you do get infected.

        1. Yes, we had the full rundown from the health department and were exposed in the infectious window in both lab confirmed cases. I know it is a contagious disease but it’s more than exposure = contracting the disease. In fact, nobody the health department contacted because they were in close contact with the families during the infectious period contracted the disease.

  2. A “suggested correlation” isn’t “compelling evidence.” We could probably create a graph plotting the increased popularity of Elvis during that time that would also look similar to that chart.

  3. Thanks for the post, I think there is always more going on then officials want to admit. i think vaccines have gotten out of control, which has caused lots of questioning. I promise that by preventing to many toxins from entering my childs body, i am not committing child abuse. I think my children benefited from having chicken pox, and i think they benefited from the fact that i waited until thereimmune system was developed to begin vaccinating against the diseases that i felt were serious enough to vaccinate against.

  4. It’s just measles, Charles. I’ve had it, and mumps, and chickenpox. Normal part of growing up for my generation. There are risks with all rites of passage.
    IMHO parents who cocoon kids by medicating against everything are also anti-science morons.
    Science would be making an informed choice each time.
    Vaccines didn’t stop our kids getting pertussis, but will almost certainly stop them getting tetanus or polio.

  5. Charles:

    Do you really believe that everything science tells us is fact? That a parent cannot make an informed decision for their child for or against vaccination? That is pretty strong language calling for prosecuting a parent for making what they feel would be the best decision for their child. Who am I to assume I would have the right to decide they weren’t acting in their child’s best interest? Who are you to make that decision? Having spent a lot of time working in the field of nutrition and with kids with all sorts of allergies and issues I am here to tell you that we saw amazing results applying simple nutrition to issues doctors and science thought they had the answers for. Turns out they didn’t….who are they to take control from parents at any stage of the game and think they knew what was best for that child? Measles, mumps, chicken pox and even whooping cough are all fairly minor diseases. Having had children long enough ago to have gone through the actual diseases I can tell you they are not a big deal and getting them will confer life-long immunity, in most cases. Vaccination actually does not, something not mentioned too often in either the scientific literature or by those doctors. I can assure you I am a parent competent enough to take in scientific evidence and medical advice and then make what I believe to be the best decision for my children knowing all I know about them. And fortunately, in America today, I am still allowed to do this.

  6. Hmm. I’ve heard this theory before, and it does seem plausible. My entire family had (confirmed) Whooping Cough last spring. (All 9 of us, including the vaccinated adults.) I don’t believe we were exposed to pesticides – at least, none that were under my control because I don’t use them. It’s possible we were exposed without my knowledge though.

    Whooping Cough wasn’t as bad as my fears. In fact we haven’t been sick since – the whooping cough ran through our family 6 months ago and we haven’t even had a sniffle since. My husband, who suffers terribly with seasonal allergies, also didn’t experience any allergy symptoms this spring!

  7. “Correlation does not imply causation”

    I personally would like more details on all of the stuff in a vaccine including the additives that may be potentially dangerous. I also realize that nothing in life is a 100% safe including eating real food. Life has risk. Vaccines reduce risk of mass epidemics of polio and other diseases that used to ravage populations.

    That doesn’t mean that vaccine companies should be allowed to put whatever they want into the medicine and then brush off the people who have adverse reactions.

    1. Matt:

      There is a website that goes into some detail on that. It is here. It is a Catholic site as about 30% of the vaccines use aborted fetal cell lines which make it difficult, for many Catholics, to use them in good conscience. Here is the site:

      I am sure if you google this subject, lots of details will pop up (ingredients in vaccines). I know there are huge issues with Thermerosol (sp?) and the vaccine makers indicate it is no longer used when, in fact, many of the vaccines are still using it. I read an extremely interesting article regarding the use of peanut oil as a base, I believe, in many vaccines and thus the explosion of peanut allergies in our children. I will see if I saved the link on that. The article was fascinating. Happy searching!


      1. RE: Peanut oil allergies & vaccines

        This wasn’t the exact article, but it goes into the same detail:

  8. My parents were raised on farms, and vaccinated as children. But no one in my mother’s or father’s family got either polio or whooping cough, and all of them were exposed to pesticides and herbicides for 20-40 (depending on their time spent on the farm) years of their lives. And my Grandparents handled the chemicals with less protection than we now use.

    But this is an interesting idea, and I don’t doubt anything that puts stress like that on the body is not going to help it stay immune to nasties. However, my Grandmother (raised on yellow butter) is in her 80s, and doing well, so there’s a lot more to health and immunity than being afraid of pesticides and vaccines. The well-fed body, and healthy mind (forgiving and thankful) can handle a lot.

  9. I can’t bear to read through the comments. The pro-vaccine Nazi’s drive me up the wall!
    Also, if the vaccines are so dang effective why do you have to worry if another child is not vaccinated? Herd immunity? moooooooo! Come on buddies, why don’t you go back and get all the 30+ ( it’s more now though, right) shots kids get now and see how you do? I am not against folks who choose to vaccinate- I am against the Nazi’s who condemn and vilify those who choose not to. It’s a free country and you’re free to take a hike.

  10. See those two counties on the coast just above the San Franciso Bay Area with the highest rates of pertussis? Those are Marin and Sonoma Counties which have some of the lowest vaccination rates in the US. Marin has very little big agriculture–some dairy and grapes with very low pesticide use. Sonoma has more ag, but not much corporate farming and very low pesticide use in general. There are a lot of organic, sustainable farms here. The high rates of pertussis correlate to low vaccination rates. Period.

    Monterey County home to the Salinas Valley where the pesticide use is astronomical. Yet their pertussis rate is LOWER than Sonoma and Marin counties. Why? Their vaccination rates are higher.

  11. This is a very thought-provoking post. I enjoyed the recent WAPF article about the effects of Roundup herbicide on gut bacteria. I never understood before how they could say that Roundup didn’t harm mammals. In a lab, it has no effect on mammalian cells, which lack the pathway that is interrupted by the herbicide. Roundup does, however, have an effect on the cells of our gut bacteria. Since bacteria outnumber our own cells 10 to 1, hurting the bacteria in our bodies definitely hurts us. Also, since 80% of our immune system is in our guts, it would make sense that anything that hurts our gut bacteria would make us more vulnerable to infectious diseases.

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