• In an ecological study led by Maayan Yitshak-Sade (Yitshak-Sade et al, 2015 ) we screened all “Clalit” Health Services members in the Negev (70% of the population) between the years 2000 and 2012 for an indication of Parkinson's Disease (PD). The patients' residence locations were inspected in terms of their proximity to agricultural cultivated fields. The standardized incidence rates of PD morbidity were significantly higher in localities close to large agricultural fields.

  • In a large cohort study between 2011-2013 we enrolled 1823 women of Bedouin-Arab origin who arrived at Soroka hospital for a delivery. When possible, we collected a spot urine sample for women agreeing to participate in the study. The samples were later tested for heavy metals and these concentrations were inspected vs birth outcomes (Karakis et al, 2014,  2015) and maternal (Karakis et al, 2021a) and neonatal morbidity 6-8 years after the index birth (Karakis et al, 2021b). The analysis indicated multiple pollutant-morbidity links.

  • Exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals among residents of a rural vegetarian/vegan community (Tordjman et al, 2016)

    Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are increasingly thought to be involved in the rising prevalence of disorders such as obesity, diabetes, and some hormone-dependent cancers

    Several lines of evidence have indicated that vegetarian and vegan diets may offer some protection from such diseases. We hypothesized that exposure to selected EDCs among residents of the unique vegetarian/vegan community of Amirim would be lower than what has recently been reported for the omnivorous population in the first Israel Biomonitoring Study (IBMS).

    Main results: While a vegetarian/vegan nutritional pattern had no effect on exposure to bisphenol A(BPA), it seemed to confer a modest protection (~ 21%) from exposure to high molecular weight phthalates. Furthermore, the summed metabolites of the high molecular weight phthalate DiNP were 36% lower in vegans compared to vegetarians (P < 0.05). In contrast, Amirim residents exhibited a level of exposure to isoflavone phytoestrogens about an order of magnitude higher than in the IBMS (P < 0.001).