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From November 21, 2001

Study Links Pesticides and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

A study published in the December 1 issue of CANCER, an international publication of the American Cancer Society, correlates an increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) with exposure to household pesticides. The study examined pesticide exposure to routes to children either through the mother while she was pregnant, or directly to the child. Exposed children showed a three to seven times greater likelihood of developing NHL, as compared to unexposed children. Although the researchers stressed the need for further studies on this topic with larger sample sizes, chief researcher Jonathan D. Buckley, MBBS, PhD, said of pesticides, "A limited number of these compounds may be capable of inducing lymphoma, particularly when used around the home."

The study, entitled "Pesticide Exposures in Children with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma," conducted research on children and adolescents under the age of 20. Researchers interviewed mothers regarding pesticide use within the home both during their pregnancy and while the child was present. Occupational exposure was also considered.

The results showed the following:

Mothers who used household insecticides one to two days a week during pregnancy was associated with a 2.62 greater risk of NHL. Mothers who used these insecticides more often, on a regular basis during pregnancy, showed a 7.33 greater likelihood for NHL.

Home extermination was correlated to a greater risk of three times.

Occupational exposure and garden pesticide use, although showing a higher risk, was not statistically significant.

In studying different types of NHL, the researchers found that household insecticide use was correlated to a greater risk of lymphoblastic lymphoma by 12.5 times.

For more information concerning pesticides and cancer, please contact Beyond Pesticides.