14.05.2003

Agricultural Pesticide Use May Be Associated With Increased Risk of Prostate Cancer

Exposure to certain agricultural pesticides may be associated with an increased
risk of prostate cancer among pesticide applicators, according to a large study
looking at the causes of cancer and other diseases in the farming community.

The current study included 55,332 men who are classified as either "private
pesticide applicators" (92 percent) or "commercial pesticide applicators" (8
percent). Private applicators are farmers or nursery-workers. Commercial
applicators work for pest control companies or for businesses such as
warehouses or grain mills that use pesticides regularly. Between 1993 and 1999,
566 new prostate cancers developed among all applicators, compared to 495 that
were predicted from the incidence rates in the two states. This means that the
risk of developing prostate cancer was 14 percent greater for the pesticide
applicators compared to the general population. The men in this study were
followed for about 4.3 years.

The most consistent risk factors associated with prostate cancer are age,
family history, and African-American ethnicity. Hormonal factors and high
levels of animal fat and red meat in the diet are also suspected risk factors.

Further Information


AplusA-online.de - Source: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences