A case-control study of Parkinson's disease (PD) was conducted in the city of Rio de Janeiro based on the assumption that neurotoxins with secondary parkinsonian action may be related to the development of Parkinson's disease. Ninety-two subjects with PD and 110 controls were queried through a questionnaire in order to investigate possible risk factors for the disease. The following factors were studied: herbicides/pesticides, exposure to chemicals, ingestion of drugs with secondary PD effects, rural life, water well source, family history, cranial trauma and cigarette smoking. Study of mentioned factors was achieved through univariate, stratified and multivariate analyses. Univariate and multivariate analyses demonstrated that PD was positively associated with family history (OR = 14.5; CI = 2.98-91.38), with the use of drugs with secondary PD action (OR = 11.01; CI = 3.41-39.41) and with exposure to chemical agents (OR = 5.87; CI = 1.48-27.23). PD was found to be inversely associated with cigarette smoking (OR = 0.39; IC = 0.16-0.95). Stratified analysis only confirmed family history and drug use, besides demonstrating that cigarette consumption could be a protection factor, when aforementioned factors were involved. This study might be a warning as to the cares that need to be taken regarding drug use and occupational exposure to chemical agents, as both types of substances present secondary PD action.