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Study Links Pesticides, Prostate Cancer

Aug 25, 2003 | Ivanhoe Newswire

Belgium researchers analyzed studies on the link between prostate cancer and pesticide exposure and conclude exposure to the occupational hazard may, indeed, increase a man's risk of getting the disease.

The study involved 22 epidemiological studies published in the Occupational and Environmental Medicine journal between 1995 and 2001. Data from all the studies were pooled to come up with an overall risk associated with occupational exposure to pesticides. Results showed men exposed to pesticides on the job stood a 13-percent increased risk of getting prostate cancer. Men who worked as pesticide sprayers appeared to be at higher risk than farmers or those in other occupations involving the use of pesticides.

The investigators believe these results confirm the results found by other researchers who pooled results from earlier studies on pesticide exposure and prostate cancer in farmers. But they also caution against over-interpretation of the findings, noting most of the 22 studies contained in the analysis did not take other factors that could have impacted prostate cancer risk into account, such as race and genetic factors.

Despite these limitations, however, they believe the findings send up a red flag regarding pesticide use and prostate cancer, noting their results would again stress the necessity to limit the occupational exposure to pesticides as well as other chemicals.

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