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Individuals Who Apply Pesticides Are Found to Have Double the Risk of Blood Disorder
Date:6/12/2009

ding information such as the average number of days of pesticide use per year, years of use, use of protective gear while applying pesticides, and pesticide application methods. Information on smoking and alcohol use, cancer histories of the participants' first-degree relatives, and other basic demographic and health data were also obtained. Individuals with prior histories of lymphoproliferative malignancies (such as multiple myeloma or lymphoma) were excluded. Cancer incidence and mortality were monitored annually, and, after five years, follow-up interviews were conducted to update the information about participants' occupational exposures, medical histories, and lifestyle factors.

For comparison, data were obtained from a large MGUS-screening study conducted by the Mayo Clinic, and the results from the pesticide-exposed group were compared with the assessments of 9,469 men from the general population of Olmsted County, Minnesota. The two groups were similar in terms of age, race, and educational attainment. Because of the low prevalence of women among workers who apply pesticides, women were excluded from the study.

In the pesticide-exposed group, no MGUS cases were observed among those who were less than 50 years of age, but the prevalence of MGUS in those older than 50 was 6.8 percent, which is 1.9 times higher than the general population study group of men in Minnesota.

The researchers also evaluated the potential association between MGUS prevalence and 50 specific pesticides for which usage data were known. Of the chemicals studied, a significantly increased risk of MGUS was observed among users of dieldrin (an insecticide), carbon-tetrachloride/carbon disulfide (a fumigant mixture), and chlorothalonil (a fungicide). The MGUS risk for these agents increased 5.6-fold, 3.9-fold, and 2.4-fold, respectively. Several other insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides were associated with MGUS, but not significantly.
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SOURCE American Society of Hematology
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