Pesticide use associated with lung cancer in farm workers

Photo credit: United Soybean Board Photo credit: United Soybean Board

A recent study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives has found that exposure to certain pesticides is associated with lung cancer. The study utilized data from The Agricultural Health Study, which follows 57,310 pesticide applicators from North Carolina and Iowa.  This study looked at exposures to 43 different pesticides in 654 pesticide applicators who had developed cancer. Researchers accounted for confounding factors such as smoking history or family medical history at the beginning of the study. Results demonstrated that high exposure rates to the pesticides pendimethalin, dieldrin, parathion and chlorimuron-ethyl (based on number of days used over the course of the applicators lifetime) were associated with lung cancer incidence. The remaining pesticides evaluated were not associated with lung cancer.