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J Toxicol Environ Health B Crit Rev. 2012;15(4):238-63. doi: 10.1080/10937404.2012.632358.

Occupational pesticide exposures and cancer risk: a review.

Author information

1
Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, North Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA. alavanjm@mail.nih.gov

Abstract

A review of the epidemiological literature linking pesticides to cancers in occupational studies worldwide was conducted, with particular focus on those articles published after the release of IARC Monograph 53 (1991): Occupational Exposures in Insecticide Applications and Some Pesticides. Important new data are now available. Chemicals in every major functional class of pesticides including insecticides, herbicide, fungicides, and fumigants have been observed to have significant associations with an array of cancer sites. Moreover, associations were observed with specific chemicals in many chemical classes of pesticides such as chlorinated, organophosphate, and carbamate insecticides and phenoxy acid and triazine herbicides. However, not every chemical in these classes was found to be carcinogenic in humans. Twenty-one pesticides identified subsequent to the last IARC review showed significant exposure-response associations in studies of specific cancers while controlling for major potential confounders. This list is not an exhaustive review and many of these observations need to be evaluated in other epidemiological studies and in conjunction with data from toxicology and cancer biology. Nonetheless, it is reasonable and timely for the scientific community to provide a multidisciplinary expert review and evaluation of these pesticides and their potential to produce cancer in occupational settings.

PMID:
22571220
PMCID:
PMC6276799
DOI:
10.1080/10937404.2012.632358
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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