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J Occup Environ Med. 2013 Oct;55(10):1171-8. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31829b290b.

Hypothyroidism and pesticide use among male private pesticide applicators in the agricultural health study.

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From the Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism Division (Dr Goldner), Department of Internal Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha; Department of Biostatistics (Dr Yu and Ms Shostrom), College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha; Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep, and Allergy Division (Dr LeVan), Departments of Internal Medicine and Epidemiology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha; Epidemiology Branch (Drs Sandler, Hoppin, and Kamel), National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC; and VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System Research Service (Dr LeVan), Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Omaha.



Evaluate the association between thyroid disease and use of insecticides, herbicides, and fumigants/fungicides in male applicators in the Agricultural Health Study.


We examined the association between use of 50 specific pesticides and self-reported hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and "other" thyroid disease among 22,246 male pesticide applicators.


There was increased odds of hypothyroidism with ever use of the herbicides 2,4-D (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid), 2,4,5-T (2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid), 2,4,5-TP (2,4,5-trichlorophenoxy-propionic acid), alachlor, dicamba, and petroleum oil. Hypothyroidism was also associated with ever use of eight insecticides: organochlorines chlordane, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), heptachlor, lindane, and toxaphene; organophosphates diazinon and malathion; and the carbamate carbofuran. Exposure-response analysis showed increasing odds with increasing level of exposure for the herbicides alachlor and 2,4-D and the insecticides aldrin, chlordane, DDT, lindane, and parathion.


There is an association between hypothyroidism and specific herbicides and insecticides in male applicators, similar to previous results for spouses.

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