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J Toxicol Environ Health B Crit Rev. 2004 Jul-Aug;7(4):267-79.

Carcinogenic and genotoxic potential of turf pesticides commonly used on golf courses.

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Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


As a result of the controversy surrounding pesticide use and animal and human health concerns, many municipalities in Canada have restricted, or are in the midst of restricting, the use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes. In some cases, pesticide use on golf courses is also being phased out at the municipal level. One of the dominant health effects of concern in relation to pesticide exposure is the occurrence of cancer. With over 1600 golf courses in Canada and between 400 and 600 new courses created each year in Canada and the United States, there appears to be increasing potential for unintentional human and animal exposure to turf pesticides. In light of the debate around pesticide exposure and the onset of cancer that has lead to controversial Canadian municipal bylaws regulating pesticide use, and due to recent results of a biomonitoring study that has shown genotoxicity in a rodent species living in golf-courses, it seems timely to review the carcinogenic and genotoxic potential of commonly used golf-course pesticides. The purpose of this review is to present some debated epidemiological research that deals with the relationship between pesticide exposure and cancer, and to review and update the literature on the in vivo and in vitro mammalian carcinogenic and genotoxic potential of these pesticides. It is our intention to unite information from various sources so those interested specifically in the carcinogenicity and genotoxicity of pesticides commonly used on golf courses can refer to one comprehensive and updated resource.

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