01/19/2005

Occupational exposure to pesticides and possible link to prostate cancer

The British Department of Health has published a report on the possible link of
prostate cancer with occupational exposure to pesticides.

They conclude:

The increase in incidence of Prostate Cancer reported over the past 2-3 decades
is largely accounted for by improved identification of cases due to increased
numbers of individuals undergoing surgery for benign prostatic conditions and
the use of Prostate Specific Antigen Screening.

There was some limited evidence to suggest an association between farmers/farm
workers, exposure to pesticides and increased risk of Prostate Cancer. The
possibility of such an association being causal could not be discounted and the
published literature should continue to be monitored for further studies.
Members commented on the need for improved measures of exposure to pesticides
and in particular herbicides. It was considered that the potential association
between herbicide use by farmers and farm workers should be kept under
review.

The information from the available epidemiological studies are consistent with
the view that overall, there is no convincing evidence of an increased risk of
Prostate Cancer in rubber workers as a whole.

There is no convincing evidence to associate other occupations with Prostate
Cancer.

There is no convincing evidence to associate occupational exposure to cadmium
with cancer of the prostate. The possibility that cadmium might induce androgen
imbalance and thus might potentially be associated with Prostate Cancer should
be monitored and relevant new information considered in the future.

The one available epidemiological study on dietary zinc supplementation and
risk of Prostate Cancer dose found increased risk of Prostate Cancer at high
levels of supplementation (>100 mg/day). Further epidemiology studies are
unlikely to provide sufficient numbers of individuals regularly consuming high
doses of supplements for a study to be undertaken in the UK. The Committee
agreed that it could not identify a biologically plausible rationale as to why
zinc should be associated with Prostate Cancer.

Further information


AplusA-online.de - Source: Department of Health