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Pesticide Spray Drift Linked to Children’s Cancer

A study published in March 2008 in the scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives has found a strong link to living in an agricultural area and a wide range of cancers in children. ‘Our study results showed statistically significant increased risk estimates for many types of childhood cancers associated with residence at diagnosis in counties having a moderate to high level of agricultural activity, with a remarkably consistent dose–response effect seen for counties having = 60% of the total county acreage devoted to farming.’

The researchers from University of Texas, Boise State University, National Center for Atmospheric Research and the Texas A&M Health Science Center in the USA investigated the health effects of children living in areas of high agricultural activity to exposure to agricultural pesticides through normal spray drift.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma, Wilms' tumor, renal carcinomas, hepatoblastoma, Ewing's sarcoma, rhabdomyosarcomas, thyroid carcinomas and malignant melanoma were all linked to living in areas where agricultural chemicals are used.

The researchers further stated “statistically significantly elevated ORs [odds ratios] were seen for every cancer site examined, with many risk estimates showing two or more times the risk for childhood cancers when compared with the low level of agricultural activity. Additionally, there was a remarkably consistent indication of a possible dose–response effect when comparing risk estimates for the medium exposure category to the high.”

“With data accumulating regarding the atmospheric transport of pesticides over long distances (van den Berg et al. 1999) and reports indicating that some level of pesticide exposure is nearly ubiquitous in the U.S. population (CDC 2005), it is likely that there will continue to be interest in the possible impact of long-term, low-level pesticide exposure in human populations, particularly among infants and young children. “

The extensive list of cancers is very concerning and raises serious concerns about the current farming practices that are permitted by government regulators.

Women Exposed to Pesticides during Pregnancy Effects Sons 
Danish researchers have found that occupational pesticide exposure during pregnancy causes adverse effects on the reproductive development in the male infants.  The researchers concluded in the scientific journal, Environmental Health Perspectives ‘Our findings suggest an adverse effect of maternal occupational pesticide exposure on reproductive development in the sons despite current greenhouse safeguards and special measures to protect pregnant women.’

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