Review of Data Shows ‘Association’ Between Leukemia & Pesticides
The web site http://www.empowher.com/leukemias/content/childhood-leukemia-and-pesticide-exposure picked up on an April report yesterday that slipped through the cracks for us concerning the association between leukemia and household pesticides: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/716413.
After examining the available data from 1950 to 2009, researchers concluded that the incidence of leukemia was higher for those years in homes where household pesticides such as weed and insect killers are used. The report also stated that more work is needed to verify “potential exposure–response relationships, and to assess specific pesticides and toxicologically related subgroups of pesticides in more detail.”
Though other reports have since made a stronger case about the associations between certain forms of cancer and pesticides, this one reviewed the widest body of available data. It’s findings cannot be dismissed.
Among the recommendations:
The authors suggest:
1. Public health policies to minimize occupational pesticide exposure for pregnant women.
2. Reducing the amount of pesticide used for “cosmetic” purposes. The authors acknowledge the need for some pesticides to reduce health hazards from infestations, but suggest that a beautiful yard or garden may not be worth the risk of childhood leukemia. Unfortunately, there are few data on the differences between herbicides and insecticides in terms of risk.
3. Further studies of residential pesticide use to see which ones present the most significant risk.
Many thanks to writer Linda Fugate for her work.