Linked to Childhood Cancer
Researchers at the University of California Los Angeles have determined that pesticide exposure may increase a child's risk of developing cancer, specifically non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Dr. Jonathan Buckley and his colleagues compared the pesticide exposures of 268 children who had developed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma with the exposures of healthy children. The researchers assessed the children's and their parents' exposure to pesticides in the home one month prior to pregnancy, during pregnancy, or while nursing.
According to the report published in the December 1, 2000 issue of Cancer, parents who used pesticides in the home once or twice a week were nearly 2.5 times as likely to have children with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Parents who used pesticides on a more daily basis were 7 times more likely to have children with the cancer.
"The main findings
suggest that pesticide exposure can cause non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and
this conclusion is supported to a certain extent by other studies on adults,"
Dr. Buckley told Reuters Health. "However, the nonspecific questions
we used did not give us any detailed information about what pesticides
were being used, and very little detail about how they were used."