Sunday, August 31, 2008

Pesticides & more & more Cancer

Prostate Cancer Risk Doubles in Pesticide Applicators

SOURCE: Occupational Environmental Medicine, 56(1):14-21, 1999

OBJECTIVES: Although the primary hazard to humans associated with pesticide exposure is acute poisoning, there has been considerable concern surrounding the possibility of cancer and other chronic health effects in humans. Given the huge volume of pesticides now used throughout the world, as well as environmental and food residue contamination leading to chronic low level exposure, the study of possible chronic human health effects is important.

METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort study, analyzed by general standardized mortality ratio (SMR) of licensed pesticide applicators in Florida compared with the general population of Florida. A cohort of 33,658 (10% female) licensed pesticide applicators assembled through extensive data linkages yielded 1874 deaths with 320,250 person-years from 1 January 1975 to 31 December 1993.

RESULTS: Among male applicators, prostate cancer mortality (SMR 2.38 (95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.83 to 3.04) was significantly increased. (The increase being from 1.83 to 3.40)

(Mortality ratio of 2.38. This is a ratio of the odds of getting the disease or the multiplier.)

No cases of soft tissue sarcoma were confirmed in this cohort, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma was not increased. The number of female applicators was small, as were the numbers of deaths. Mortality from cervical cancer and breast cancer was not increased.

Additional subcohort and exposure analyzes were performed.

Fleming LE, Bean JA, Rudolph M, Hamilton K
Mortality in a cohort of licensed pesticide applicators in Florida.
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health
University of Miami School of Medicine, FL 33101, USA.

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