Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Cancer Genetics

Link Between Pesticides and Cancer

08/10/2005

Question:

What has research demonstrated as a correlation between cancer and lawn pesticide use? Do pesticides correlate to any health problems? I noticed on your website a correlation i.e. risk factor of pesticides to leukemia in the ask an expert section. Is there a connection? Thanks

Answer:

There is some suggestion in the literature that pesticides may be associated with an increased risk for cancer, primarily prostate cancer.  This study was trying to determine whether agricultural pesticide use was responsible for the increased risk of cancer in farmers.  The data is not conclusive, as some studies have not seen this same association.

 

Remember, that using pesticides on a farm is different than using them for your lawn.  The application rate is different, and the specific pesticides in use are different.

Pesticides are of concern primarily because of the way they may act when there is accidental exposure, and because they are commonly manufactured with organic chemicals.  Organic chemicals can enter the body quickly, and may lead to cell damage.  It is important to minimize exposure, as the full effects are not fully known.

You can read the summary of the study examining the use of pesticides and the possible increased risk of prostate cancer in farmers published by the National Cancer Institute entitled "Agricultural Pesticide Use May Be Associated With Increased Risk of Prostate Cancer"

For more information:

Go to the Cancer Genetics health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Duane D Culler, PhD, MS Duane D Culler, PhD, MS
Clinical Instructor of Genetics
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University