Studies and Reports
- Purdue M et al., Occupational exposure to organochlorine insecticides and cancer incidence in the Agricultural Health Study, Int J Cancer. 2007 Feb 1;120(3):642-9.
- Abstract. "Organochlorine (OC) insecticides have been regulated as possible human carcinogens primarily on the basis of animal studies. However, the epidemiologic evidence is inconsistent. We investigated the relationship between cancer incidence and OC insecticide use among pesticide applicators enrolled in the Agricultural Health Study, a prospective cohort study of 57,311 licensed applicators in Iowa and North Carolina enrolled between 1993 and 1997. Information on ever use of 7 OC insecticides (aldrin, chlordane, DDT, dieldrin, heptachlor, lindane, toxaphene) was collected from a self-administered questionnaire at enrollment. Lifetime exposure-days to OC insecticides were calculated using additional data from a take-home questionnaire completed by 25,291 participants (44% of total). We found no clear evidence of an association between use of OC insecticides and incident cancers (N = 1,150) ascertained through December, 2002. When we focused on individual insecticides and structurally similar groups (aldrin and dieldrin; chlordane and heptachlor), significantly increased relative risks of some cancers were observed for use of some chemicals (rectal cancer and chlordane, lung cancer and dieldrin, non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and lindane, melanoma and toxaphene, leukemia and chlordane/heptachlor). Some significant decreased relative risks were also observed (colon cancer and aldrin; overall cancer and heptachlor). In conclusion, we did not observe any clear relationship between cancer risk and the use of OC insecticides. Our chemical-specific findings are based on small numbers and multiple comparisons, and should be interpreted with caution; however, some observed associations (lindane and NHL, chlordane/heptachlor and leukemia) are supported by previous evidence."
- Rafnsson V. Cancer incidence among farmers exposed to lindane while sheep dipping, Scand J Work Environ Health. 2006 Jun;32(3):185-9.
- Conclusion. "The decreased risk of most cancers among these sheep farmers agrees with findings reported previously among farmers from other countries, as well as in Iceland. Cancer of the lip was the only cancer type in significant excess among both genders, and the stomach cancer rates were near unity, but, in previous studies on Icelandic farmers, an increase had been found for stomach cancer. The site-specific cancer incidence for sheep-dipping farmers did not differ substantially from that of the general population."
- Blair A et al., Non-hodgkin's lymphoma and agricultural use of the insecticide lindane, Am J Ind Med. 1998 Jan;33(1):82-7.
- Abstract. "Data from population-based case-control studies of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma among white men from Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota were pooled to evaluate potential risks from environmental exposures in more detail, while controlling for potential confounding factors. These data provided the opportunity to evaluate the risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma from potential exposures to lindane, a pesticide that causes cancer in laboratory animals and has been associated with human cancer in a few epidemiologic investigations. This pooled data set includes 987 individuals with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and 2,895 population-based controls. Information was obtained by telephone or in person interviews, which included detailed questions on farm practices and agricultural use of chemicals. Logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) adjusted for age, state of residence, and subject or proxy interviews. Reported use of lindane significantly increased the risk of non-Hodgkin's's lymphoma by 50%. Some use characteristics were suggestive of an association. ORs were greater among persons who first used the pesticide 20 years before diagnosis (OR = 1.7) than more recently (OR = 1.3), among those who reported more frequent use (OR = 2.0 for use 5 or more days per year versus 1.6 for fewer than five days per year), and from use on crops (OR = 1.9), rather than from use on animals (OR = 1.3), although these differences were not statistically significant. On the other hand, ORs were lower when based on direct interviews (OR = 1.3) than on data from proxy respondents (OR = 2.1) and adjustment for potential confounding by use of 2,4-D and diazinon reduced the ORs associated with lindane use from 1.5 to 1.2 and 1.3, respectively. Lindane does not appear to be a major etiologic factor in the development of non-Hodgkin's's lymphoma, although a small role cannot be ruled out."